ALVA, Oklahoma — The Cloud County Community College baseball team took a break from an intense battle inside the KJCCC West standings when it headed out to Alva on Monday for a non-conference doubleheader against Northwestern Oklahoma State University JV.
Unfortunately for the T-Birds, they struggled to get anything going Monday in a pair of disappointing losses, 5-3 and 3-1, to the Rangers.
"On the day when someone eventually takes the jersey away and says you can't play college baseball again, these are the types of days you'll regret," said Cloud County head coach, Eric Gilliland. "The days where you didn't show up. Wasting days is the crime of a lifetime."
On a trip designed to get a lot of players some work in non-conference action, Cloud County (27-18 overall, 14-10 KJCCC) had a few bright spots, but ultimately couldn't string hits together in either ballgame.
In Game Two, the T-Birds stranded the bases loaded in the first, second and seventh innings and left two on in the third, scoring their lone run in the top of the third courtesy of a Rangers' error.
Armstrong, who hit his first career home run last Saturday against Dodge City, continued to make the most of his opportunity as he finished 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly in Game One.
"It takes some maturity to play well and to show up on a day like (Monday) and we saw that out of Jace and Kade; two guys who consistently bring it on a daily basis," Gilliland said. "Those two guys were excellent today at the plate."
For Asher, he has allowed just one run in his last 11 innings of relief and has lowered his earned run average to 2.65.
Cloud County will look to shake off Monday's performance and get back on track Thursday when it opens a four-game series against Garden City Community College (24-19 overall, 10-14 KJCCC).
The T-Birds are tied for third in the KJCCC West standings heading into the matchup with the seventh-place Broncbusters.
"I owe an awful lot to Coach Finnegan for helping me get started in my coaching career and I've learned a lot from him," said Gilliland, who was an assistant coach at Garden City prior to his return to Cloud County. "But at the end of the day, it's another conference series. We'll both want to win just as bad as the other person."
Game times are set for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday at Lee Doyen Field in Concordia.