EBEN - The Superior Central Cougars mounted a challenge Tuesday, but it wasn't enough to keep them from dropping 9-1 and 2-1 baseball decisions to the Norway Knights.
Superior Central scored its run in the nightcap on Cody Maki's single, slicing its deficit in half in the fifth inning. The Cougars, however, left the bases loaded.
"We were hitting the ball, only we didn't find the gaps," said Cougars' manager Bill Maki. "They had a big double play which got them out of the fourth inning. Their shortstop (Bryce Grayvold) made a diving stop, which was a beautiful play. It was pretty good baseball. I was very pleased with our effort."
Norway scored both of its runs in the fourth on back-to-back singles by Cody Carlson and Grayvold.
Cody Maki, who absorbed the loss, struck out four, walked two and allowed four hits.
The opener was scoreless until the fifth when Norway took a 2-0 lead on a two-out single by Mike Faull.
Norway, taking advantage of four errors, added seven runs in the sixth.
"The kids played a terrific game up to that point and Eli Pasanen was pitching a great game," said manager Maki. "No doubt, the errors hurt us. We also left the bases loaded in the second inning and overran a base in the third. Those are the things that hurt."
Cody Maki, who had two hits in the first game, scored on a throwing error in the fifth.
Garrett Bonetti had two of Norway's nine hits. Bryce Plante, who took the win, struck out three, walked four, hit three batters and gave up four hits.
Pasanen took the loss. He fanned two, walked two and surrendered five runs on seven hits through five innings.
"For a young pitcher, Eli has nice control," said manager Maki. "His location was good and he changed speeds enough to keep them a little off balance."
The Cougars, who finished their regular season 1-13, are idle until May 30 when the meet Houghton in an MHSAA Division 3 district opener at Gladstone.