The weather was warm but the Republic bats were cold in a season-opening, 3-1 loss at home to Carl Junction Saturday. Republic batters managed only three base hits and struck out nine times against two Bulldogs pitchers.
The Tigers scored first unearned run in the bottom of the second inning, after Josh Gentry reached base on a leadoff single. He scored on an error by the third-baseman on a grounder by Cameron Beck to make it 1-0 Republic.
Carl Junction tied it up in the top of the third with a pair of singles against Republic starter Blake Messier. The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the fourth inning, but Messier worked out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the score tied 1-1.
In the top of the fifth, Carl Junction took the lead on a single, a sacrifice, and an RBI single. After Tyler Cavener entered the game to pitch in relief for the Tigers, the Bulldogs added one more run on a bases-loaded walk to take a 3-1 lead.
Messier worked 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs, striking out three. He was charged with the loss. Cavener settled down after allowing an inherited runner to score, working 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out five.
Republic falls to 0-1. Carl Junction is 1-0. The Tigers are back in action Monday night at home for another game in the Lead Off Tournament, which Saturday's game was also a part of.
The American Family Player of the Game was Austin Atkins. Batting in the leadoff spot, Atkins had one of Republic's three base hits and also reached on an error. He also added two stolen bases.