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It took nothing more than a quick look at the box score to see why Paxton fell 7-6 against Gifford-Flatville in the second game of Sunday’s three-game league showcase in Buckley. The Swedes committed eight errors, leading to four unearned runs by the Gif-Flats, whose Nik Duffle scored the winning run on a two-out walk-off wild pitch in the last of the seventh inning after his should-be single took a bad hop over the head of a Swedes outfielder and turned into a triple.
Paxton had tied the game at 6-6 in the top of the seventh when Brett Leischner’s drive to left-center was misplayed by a Gifford-Flatville outfielder, allowing two runs to score.
Gifford-Flatville scored three runs in the first inning and three more in the third, chasing Paxton starter Deven Lee, who went two-plus innings, allowing six runs, two earned, on six hits and a walk.
“It was a debacle of a first inning for us,” said Paxton player-manager Mark Prina, speaking to the errors.
“Then we had another debacle in the bottom of the third.”
Mike Grant (2-1) pitched well in relief but took the loss for the Swedes, allowing just one run in 4 2/3 innings of relief. He struck out nine, allowed four hits and walked two. Evan West (4-0) earned the win for the Gif-Flats with a complete-game effort, going seven innings and allowing six runs, four earned, on seven hits and four walks while striking out four.
Luke Krippel had two hits and two RBIs for Paxton, and Adam Hayes had two hits as well. Collin DeDecker paced Gifford-Flatville with two hits, two runs and three stolen bases.
After an 8-1 start, the Swedes have now lost their last six games, putting them in a fourth-place tie in the EI with Watseka at 8-7.
“We just got to be consistent these next three weeks, put together a little run going into the postseason,” Prina said.