The Columbus United Federal Credit Union Junior Blues committed four errors, the most costly of which came on the final play of the game and dropped a 2-1 decision to Hastings in a road game Tuesday evening.
Columbus led on a Colin Flyr two-out, RBI single in the top of the third but saw that lead last only briefly when Hastings answered in the bottom half on a walk, sac bunt and sac fly.
A Junior Blues walk and single put two on to start the bottom of the seventh. A throwing error in the next bat gave Hastings the walk-off win.
Caleb Van Dyke was the tough-luck loser, going six innings while allowing just four hits, two strikeouts and walking two.
"We know we're going to get a lot more chances in games like this, and we'll be in a lot of tight games. We've been in a lot of tight games already, and have come out the other side with the win. Today we just didn't," coach Jimmy Johnson said. "We can't let one play or one game, like this, define ourselves and our season.
"We have to show the character to bounce back from game to game and make sure that's how we're defined."
Both teams combined for just 10 hits, six of which came from Columbus. The Blues had the first chance of the game with two, two-out singles in the first but flew out to left.
Neither side threatened much again until Tanner Kobza reached on a one-out single in the third then Cody Zrust took his spot on the base paths with a fielder's choice and stole second. Flyr drove him in with a single to left field.
Van Dyke was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat but Columbus left him and Flyr on base with a fly out.
A leadoff walk in the bottom half proved to be costly and tie the game 1-1. Columbus went down in order in the fourth and fifth, stranded two more in the sixth then went down in order in the seventh.
A Hastings walk then single started the seventh. A bunt attempt to move the two runners over proved to be the game winner when it was overthrown at first base allowing the winning run to come in from second base.
The Blues committed a total of four errors in the game.
"We'd rather be in these type of games than 10-run wins or losses," Johnson said. "It stings, but we'll be ready tomorrow and let our character define us; not just one game or one play."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.