Houston coach Brent Hall didn’t mind his team’s fielding mistakes. It’s the lack of consistent hitting that has him concerned.

The Tigers managed just six hits in 11 innings as they dropped a 5-2 thriller Monday to Mountain Grove.

None of the Panthers’ five runs were earned thanks to Houston’s four errors. But Hall said his team’s offensive struggles were most concerning.

The Tigers (3-5, 1-2 SCA) had the same issue Thursday at Salem. They had four hits in a 6-2 defeat.

“In high school baseball, you’re going to make mistakes,” Hall said. “We aren’t doing enough offensively to overcome them.”

After four scoreless innings by both teams, Mountain Grove scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the top of the 11th. The Panthers added two more runs on a fielding error.

Dalton Kennedy and George Lada teamed up to shut down Houston’s offense. Kennedy struck out 11 batters and allowed two runs — one earned — in nine innings. Lada didn’t give up a hit and struck out three in the final two innings to earn the win.

Lucas Cooperman and Nathan McCarthy had two hits apiece for Houston. Devin Coulter had a RBI single.

Hall did his best to make changes to ignite the Tigers’ offense. He moved several batters in the lineup — Cooperman batted second instead of his normal leadoff position for the first time in two seasons — and changed base coaches. Hall sat just inside the dugout and allowed assistants Bud Evans and Ryan Munson to coach at third and first, respectively.

None of the moves worked on this day.

“We’re doing whatever we can to try to switch things up to get the guys going,” Hall said.

Houston’s hitting woes spoiled a solid performance from Cooperman. He struck out a career-high nine batters in eight innings while giving up six hits and two unearned runs.

Cooperman, who had struggled with his control his previous outing, walked just one batter.

“That was by far Lucas’ best pitching performance,” Hall said.

The Tigers took an early lead with a first-inning double steal. Eli Smith, who singled with two outs, safely slid into second base and Kaleb Poynter sprinted home from third without a throw.

Mountain Grove was aided by consecutive fielding errors to score pair of unearned runs in the fourth inning. After the Panthers’ first two batters reached via errors, Frank Lada and Kennedy had consecutive run-scoring singles to make it 2-1.

Houston pulled even in the bottom of the sixth on Coulter’s two-out bloop single that scored Smith, who had advanced to second base on a balk.

On Thursday, Cooperman went 2-for-4 to account for half of Houston’s hits in a loss at Salem. Smith and Poynter had one hit apiece.

Smith took the loss. He gave up seven hits and six runs — three earned — in six innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

Houston scored both of its runs in the top of the first. Cooperman singled to lead off the game and Smith was hit by a pitch. Poynter followed with a RBI double and Aaron Cantrell hit a sacrifice fly to right field to make it 2-0.

Salem answered with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first to tie it.

As Houston was held scoreless the rest of the way, Salem scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

Salem, which had previously lost 3-1 to the Tigers in the SCA tournament, improved to 2-0 in conference play and 4-3 overall.

Box scores

Monday’s game

MG 000 200 000 03 — 5 10 4

HHS 100 001 000 00 — 2 6 1

HOUSTON (ab-r-h-bi) — Cantrell cf 5-0-0-0. Cooperman p 3-0-2-0. Poynter 2b 5-0-0-0. Smith ss 4-1-1-0. Coulter 3b 5-0-1-1. McCarthy c 5-0-2-0. Preheim rf 4-0-0-0. Williamson 1b 4-0-0-0. Alston lf 4-0-0-0. Totals 39-3-6-1.

SB: Poynter, Smith, Coulter, McCarthy. CS: Cooperman.

mg ip h r er bb so

Kennedy 9 6 2 1 2 11

Lada, W 2 0 0 0 1 3

houston ip h r er bb so

Cooperman 8 6 2 0 1 9

Smith, L 3 4 3 0 0 5

Thursday’s game

Houston 200 000 0 — 2 4 3

Salem 200 211 x — 6 7 2

hhs (3-4) ab r h bi shs ab r h bi

Cprmn 1b 4 1 2 0 Bttgrw ss 3 1 0 0

Smith p 3 1 1 0 Arzt 2b 3 2 1 1

Poynter ss 4 0 1 1 Smith cf 2 0 1 1

Cantrell cf 1 0 0 1 Sttrfld rf 3 1 0 0

Coulter 3b 3 0 0 0 Shaw 3b 3 1 2 1

Wllmsn 2b 2 0 0 0 Floyd p 3 0 2 0

Preheim rf 2 0 0 0 Stnbrgr lf 3 0 0 0

McCarthy c 3 0 0 0 Stluka c 3 1 1 2

Alston lf 2 0 0 0 Elliott 1b 3 0 0 0

Totals 21 2 4 2 Totals 26 6 7 5

2B: Poynter. SB: Poynter. SF: Cantrell. SAC: Alston.

houston ip h r er bb so

Smith, L 6 7 6 3 2 7

houston ip h r er bb so

Floyd, W 4.2 4 2 2 3 5

Johnson 2.1 0 0 0 0 2

HBP: Smith, Cantrell, Williamson.

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