The start to the second half of the Coastal Plain season has not gone as hoped in Martinsville. The Mustangs returned home for its first home game since the All Star Break Thursday night and were looking to get back to winning after going 1-6 to start the second half of the season.
This started off well against Asheboro as the Mustangs jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but the Copperheads responded with seven unanswered runs and eventually left with a 7-3 win.
The Mustangs got chances throughout the night, stranding eight runners on base throughout the game, but just weren't able to find the key hit to keep rallies going.
"Guys just have to continue to make adjustments and stay educated about the game," Mustangs head coach Danny Higginbotham said. "Focus on the things they can control and that's about all we can do. The rest is going to play itself out. They're hungry, they're excited, we're excited and we're ready to take on another challenge tomorrow."
2017 CPL All Star Lee Sponseller got the Mustangs going in the bottom of the second inning with a lead-off double. After a ground-ball out by Keaton Weisz pushed Sponseller to third, Mustang newcomer Muta Crusoe registered his first hit and RBI in Martinsville with a single to left field to score Sponseller and give Martinsville a 1-0 lead.
Asheboro, however, came right back in the top of the third inning and took the lead for good. After two quick outs, the Copperheads drew two walks and then a hit back-to-back doubles to take a 3-1 lead.
The Copperheads added a run in the sixth inning and then put the game out of reach in the seventh with three more runs to take a 7-1 lead.
The Mustangs did get two runs back with a two-run home run by Ryan Shinn, but that was all the Mustangs could get back.
Higginbotham said that the team should be less worried about the big picture of winning games, but learning from the mistakes being made in the midst of the current five-game losing streak.
"They just need to make sure they educate themselves and become better baseball players. That's what we talked about tonight and that's what the focus needs to be," he said. "It doesn't need to be on we need to win this game in panic mode. That's not the goal. the goal every day is to go out focused, be educated, understand maybe how you did fail and how to not fail again and that's okay. Baseball is a game of failure, we just have to learn how to bounce back from it and move on."
The Mustangs will be back at Hooker Field on Friday night as they play host to Holly Springs at 7:15.