Houston starter Ethan Williamson delivers a pitch in the first inning.

Rain washed away the Houston Tigers’ opportunity to rebound from a disappointing season opener.

Inclement weather arrived in the bottom of the second inning of Tuesday’s game against Salem at Tiger Field. The scoreless game was briefly delayed before lightning caused it to be postponed until Thursday as part of a doubleheader.

The contest will resume at 2 p.m. with Salem, the home team, batting with one out and a runner on first base. Houston will also play at 6 p.m. against Cuba in the finale of the three-game Neal’s Sporting Goods Leadoff Classic.

The 2012 season started poorly for the Tigers. HHS struggled defensively in an 11-1 five-inning loss Monday to Mountain Grove.

Houston (0-1) committed three errors and made just as many mental mistakes. 

“We can’t play that way,” Tigers coach Brent Hall said. “We had a lot of mistakes in the field – dropped fly balls, missed coverages, not knowing what to do with the ball at times. That’s totally unacceptable if you plan on winning.” 

Houston managed four hits against Mountain Grove’s George Lada, who struck out three and allowed one unearned run. He walked none.

Quinton Alston, Devin Coulter, Aaron Cantrell and Trevor Merckling each singled for the Tigers. Alston also scored the team’s lone run.

Cantrell gave up 11 hits and 10 runs – seven earned – in four innings. He struck out three and walked two. 

“I anticipate him having a better next start and progressing as the year goes on,” Hall said.

Houston actually led after the first inning. Alston singled to left in the bottom of the first, moved to second on Coulter’s sacrifice bunt and scored when Rodney Preheim grounded out.

Mountain Grove answered with four second-inning runs to take a lead the Panthers never relinquished. Mountain Grove added another run in the third and six more in the fifth to enforce the 10-run rule.

“We hit the ball OK,” Hall said. “We just didn’t give ourselves a chance by some of the things we did defensively.”

Box score

Mountain Grove    041   05     11   13   1  
Houston 100   00     1   4   3  

MOUNTAIN GROVE – Anderson ss 4-1-2-3. Emery cf 3-0-0-2. Otwell c 4-0-2-0. Lada p 4-0-1-0. Mills 1b 2-3-2-0. Newberry 3b 2-2-2-1. Collins rf 3-1-1-1. Dobson 2b 2-2-2-2. Freeman lf 2-2-1-1. Totals 26-11-13-10. 

HOUSTON – Alston lf 3-1-1-0. Coulter ss 2-0-1-0. Williamson 1b 1-0-0-0. Preheim 3b 2-0-0-1. Campbell cf 2-0-0-0. Cantrell p 2-0-1-0. Merckling 2b 2-0-1-0. Walker dh 1-0-0-0. Keeney c 2-0-0-0. Totals 17-1-4-1. 

2B: Anderson 2, Mills, Newberry. SAC: Emery, Coulter, Walker

Mountain Grove   ip     h     r     er     bb     so  
Lada, W   5   4   1   0   0   3
Houston   ip     h     r     er     bb     so  
Cantrell, L 0-1       4   11   10   7   2   3
Coulter       1   2   1   1   0   0

HBP: Mills, Williamson. 

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