Thursday proved to be a busier than usual baseball day for the Holcomb Longhorns, finishing a weather-delayed game against Hugoton before facing Sublette in a doubleheader, while their Longhorn softball colleagues played a traditional doubleheader down the street against Haskell County, a combined Sublette-Satanta team.
The Longhorns first had to finish up a weather-delayed GWAC game against Hugoton, in which they had trailed 11-2 after three innings.
Holcomb rallied to eventually tie the game with an 8-run outburst in the fourth and a single run in the fifth, but then let it slip away by committing three errors in the sixth when the Eagles pushed across what proved to be the winning runs with a trio of runners crossing home plate, and then tacking on one more run in the seventh for an eventual 15-11 triumph.
"In our four losses (12-4 season record), we've had so many errors it's kind of crazy," said first year coach Landon Lukens. "Between errors through the season and runners left on base, that's when we've lost our games."
Following the heartbreak of that loss, the Longhorns had to turn right around and take on Sublette in a non-league doubleheader.
That proved to be a much better outcome as they swept past the Larks in a three-inning, run-rule decisions by score of 16-1 and then 17-1 in four innings.
In the opener Lukens welcomed back pitcher Chance Rodriguez, who had suffered an ankle injury at the end of wrestling season, underwent surgery, and missed the entire month of April.
Rodriguez pitched three innings, giving up just a single hit, walked one and struck out two.
"It's good to get him back and give him a chance to gain some confidence out there," Lukens said. "We've had some other guys step up during the season and gotten some valuable experience, but there's no doubt we're a better team with Chance on the field."
In the opening romp, AJ Ortega drove in three runs with a home run as the 'Horns offense cranked out eight hits.
They scored eight runs in the first, one in the second and seven in the deciding third frame.
In their second win over Sublette, Ortega pitched the first inning and Bryan Goddard finished out the final three innings to pick up the win.
The Longhorns had 13 hits, six of them for extra bases, as Paden Cornelsen accounted for two hits and four RBIs. Ortega, Martin, Kaden Tichenor and Trey Cox each had two RBIs.
"I'm happy with how we've performed, but certainly not satisfied," Lukens said. "If we don't make errors, and we can drive people in when they're on base, we're a pretty good team."
The Longhorns will return to action on Monday when they travel down the road to Lakin, where they first will play Cimarron at 2 p.m. and then the host Broncs at 4 p.m. Lakin and Cimarron will play the 6 o'clock finale of the triangular.
For the first time in two weeks, the Holcomb Longhorn girls softball team had their regular lineup on the field.
With the return of Kamryn Gomez at third base, coach Jennifer Barrett was able to move her other infielders back to their regular spots, and the Longhorns responded Thursday with 11-2 and 10-3 wins over Haskell County, a combined team of Sublette and Satanta players.
"We've just been trying to get healthy, so to have everybody back on the field was really nice, and we've been fortunate to be able to win some games lately," Barrett said. "We're just trying to peak here at the end and be ready for the playoffs."
Starting pitcher Sydney Faulcenor threw complete games for a pair of wins, giving up eight hits in the first win and six hits in the nightcap.
"We've set some individual game goals for her, and she accomplished those tonight," Barrett said of Faulcenor. "She did a good job in both games."
In the first game, Eboni Sapien doubled and had three RBIs while Chesney McVey also doubled with three runs driven in. Gomez returned and had three hits, including a triple.
In the nightcap, the Longhorns scored four runs in the first, two in the second before Haskell County closed to within 4-3 in the top of the fifth. Holcomb responded with one in the fifth and three more in the sixth to put the game away.
"Our offense has been strong all year and they came through again tonight," Barrett said.
The Longhorns had 10 hits in Game 2, with Sapien and Alex Brundgardt each getting three. Brundgardt drove in three runs as did Taylor Sleep with a home run.
Defense, which has been a bit sketchy at times, Barrett said, committed just one error in each of the two games.
The Longhorns, 13-3, will host Lakin at 4 p.m. Monday and then travel to Scott City for a big GWAC doubleheader on Thursday to finish out the regular season.