LAFAYETTE - This certainly was not the kind of game Homestead anticipated playing Saturday afternoon in the Class 4A Lafayette Regional baseball tournament at Loeb Stadium.
The Spartans were guilty of six errors, hit a pair of batters, threw two wild pitches and were called for a balk in a 7-3 opening-round loss to eighth-ranked Noblesville, which won the Hoosier Crossroads Conference championship.
Homestead, which finishes 22-10, outhit Noblesville 7-5, but six errors during the first five innings did in the Spartans, who were beaten 12-2 by the Millers in a regular-season meeting.
Starting and losing pitcher McLean Trieglaff (7-4) nursed a 3-2 lead into the top of the fifth when Noblesville (25-8) took complete advantage of two hit batsmen, a walk, two errors and a pair of clutch doubles to turn a one-run deficit into a five-run inning and a four-run lead.
Trieglaff gave up only three hits in five innings, but his defense betrayed him.
"It was frustrating," Trieglaff said. "Baseball is a team sport, so when one person messes up, the whole team messes up. We came out strong but couldn't win it. When you make an error, sometimes it compounds.
"I have had better days. My arm got tired in the fourth inning, which usually doesn't happen. It was a bad day for me, and (Noblesville) is pretty good."
For coach Steve Sotir, it was a sad way to end what had been a productive season, especially in May and early June.
"You absolutely can't mishandle the ball the number of times we did, especially this deep into the tournament," Sotir said. "We put ourselves into some holes and couldn't fight back. We absolutely had a lead, and to our credit, we kept fighting back.
"At the beginning of the season, we played inconsistently. Towards the end of the season, we were one of the most consistent teams out there and were able to play some good baseball. Unfortunately, it didn't happen today."
Drew Lunsford, a sophomore second baseman and the No. 9 hitter, paced the Homestead offense with two run-scoring singles, finishing 2 for 2 with a walk. However, the Nos. 1-4 hitters in the Spartans' lineup were a collective 2 for 16 with six strikeouts.