KENT — When Kent Roosevelt travelled to Aurora on Wednesday, coach Mike Haney said it wasn’t hard to figure why the Rough Riders lost 7-4.
"We went over there the other day and played a good game," Haney said. "We just committed nine errors."
When the two teams met each other Friday at Stanton Middle School, it was the Greenmen who had major issues in the field and Rough Riders reaped the benefits.
Six unearned runs in the bottom of the third inning combined with a solid outing from starting pitcher Zach Common paved the way for Roosevelt to score an 8-6 win over the Greenmen.
Aurora, which was coming off a 9-1 loss to Medina Highland Thursday, dropped to 5-2, 3-2 in the Suburban League American Conference, while Roosevelt improved to 5-4, 2-2 in the American Conference.
Aurora coach Michael Brancazio said the Greenmen’s five errors were the product of a lack of focus.
"The bottom line was they were more hungry today," Brancazio said. "That’s on me. I’ve got to get us ready to play. We have a lot of adjustments to make.
"Our ultimate goal is not to be playing at this level," he added. "We may be 5-2, but as I told the guys, we are not a 5-2 team right now. We haven’t played a clean game in terms of all three phases of the game yet."
Common (3-0) kept the Greenmen relatively in check. He got the win by allowing three runs (two earned) off four hits with seven strikeouts in five innings of work. Lucios Ivory pitched the final two innings for Kent.
"He’s fantastic," Haney said of Common. "He’s one of the best I’ve had and he’s only a sophomore. He’s not afraid to challenge anyone.
It was Aurora that opened the scoring in the top of the second inning. After an error and an infield single by third baseman Will Carpenter, designated hitter Chris Rote had an RBI single to make it 1-0.
Following a fielder’s choice and a walk, Aurora right fielder Michael Sapp had a two-run single to make it 3-0.
Aurora starting pitcher Chase Coady, who Brancazio said was pitching on three days rest, was in control until Aurora’s defense imploded in the bottom of the third inning.
Four Greenmen errors, including a dropped ball in the outfield, allowed Roosevelt to send 10 men to the plate and score six runs. Roosevelt also got an RBI double from designated hitter Trevor Woodward to take a 6-3 lead after three innings.
Coady (1-1) took his first loss as he lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up four hits and two walks with strikeouts, but none of the runs he gave up were earned.
"It’s a little hard to do anything when you give a team nine outs in an inning," Brancazio said.
Roosevelt got a pair of insurance runs in the fifth inning. After Woodward walked, center fielder Kent Gordon hit a ground-run RBI double and Common drove Gordon home with an RBI single to make it 8-3.
Those insurance runs proved vital, as the Greenmen made things interesting in the seventh.
Aurora’s Jacob Loundon walked and Jacob Blue singled, setting up shortstop Evan Fromwiller to belt a three-run home run to left field.
Catcher Joe Capretta hit an infield single to bring the tying run to the plate, but third baseman Will Carpenter struck out and Rote flew out to deep left to end the game.
Aurora is set to play a doubleheader at Olmsted Falls Saturday with first game set for 11 a.m.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_RPC