Peninsula (18-6, 1-1 second half) dropped its Thursday contest against Wilson (11-11, 1-1 second half) 4-2 after errors and free passes cost the Pilots in their second-consecutive loss at Fleming Stadium.
Peninsula’s offense struggled to push runs across in the early going, not breaking through until the top of the fifth.
Left fielder Trevon Dabney opened up the offense in the fifth with a sharp one-out single. Following a strikeout from second baseman Zac Morris, the Pilots’ offense began to break through.
Designated hitter Alden Mathes roped a double that hugged the right-field line — his sixth two-bagger of the year — to put runners on second and third with two down.
Peninsula got its second-consecutive clutch hit from shortstop Jack Dragum who extended his hitting streak to seven games on a two-RBI double to the gap in right-center field, tipping off the end of Tobs right fielder Zach Hoguiesson’s glove on the warning track before coming to a stop against the wall.
The Pilots’ first runs of the game tied it at two runs a piece, but, unfortunately for them, they were also the last runs they scored before some defensive miscues cost them late.
In the bottom of the sixth, right-hander Gage Williams relieved Lliam Grubbs after he gave the Pilots five strong innings, allowing two earned runs on one hit and a pair of walks.
Williams hit Wilson third baseman Dylan Scaranda with his second pitch of the night before center fielder Jared Carr smacked a double to right field.
Pilots right fielder Erik Stock fired into second base in an attempt to nab Carr taking the extra bag, but his throw sailed past shortstop Jack Dragum to allow Scaranda to give the Tobs a 3-2 lead.
In the eighth, Carr collected his third hit of the night — the only hits for Wilson on the night — singling on a soft line drive to centerfield. A walk from shortstop Gary Mattis moved Carr up to second base.
Toeing the slab for the Pilots at the time was righty Nic Psimas, and one of his coveted splitters skidded away from catcher Justin Starke — who was 2-for-4 at the plate — allowing Carr to move up to third. Making matters worse, though, Starke threw down to third but air-mailed the throw into left field, as Carr strolled home for Wilson’s fourth and final run of the ballgame.
The Tobs manufactured a run in the bottom of the second to open the scoring.
Second baseman Drew DeVine drew a six-pitch walk before swiping second on the second pitch of the following at-bat. DeVine advanced to third on an unassisted groundout to Pilots first baseman Logan Steenstra — who was making his season debut Thursday — crossing one batter later on Hoguiesson’s 4-3 RBI putout.
An inning later, Wilson catcher Griffin Everitt was hit by a pitch, moving up to second on a wild pitch two batters later. Carr’s second hit was a single to Morris at second base that allowed him to increase the lead to 2-0.
Peninsula did not do itself any favors, as two runs scored on the same plays as errors were committed. In addition, three of the four Wilson runs to score reached on a walk or hit-by-pitch.
The Pilots return to War Memorial Stadium Friday to take on Martinsville. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. as Peninsula will welcome local band “Take the Cake” to play pregame music for fans on the pavilion down the left-field line.