Mayfield freshman second baseman Kole Collins inches down the third base line during the third inning on Wednesday afternoon.

Improvement has been at the forefront of the Mayfield Cardinals’ minds in the first two weeks of the 2021 season.

Following a 13-2 loss to Calloway County on Monday night, the Cardinals sharpened their defense and played a solid seven innings in a 6-3 loss to Lake County (TN) on Wednesday night.

Lake County opened the game with two early runs in the top of the first but were limited as freshman Jaylen Bass pitched out of trouble.

The Falcons added another run in the top of the second on a passed ball, taking a 3-0 lead into the home half of the second.

Mayfield couldn’t get anything going in the second inning but did manage to get one run back in the bottom of the third as freshman second baseman Kole Collins reached on an error and came around to score on a groundout by freshman catcher Zach Darnall.

Lake County took a 5-1 lead in the top of the fifth and Darnall responded again, this time driving in a run on a double to the left center gap.

Bass and the Cardinals skated around trouble in the top of the sixth and added another run in the home half thanks to a two-out double from freshman third baseman Ethan Kemp.

Kemp’s liner would score freshman first baseman Austin Ellis from second but junior centerfielder Charlie Sims would be gunned down at home trying to score, sending the Cardinals to the seventh down 5-3.

The Falcons added one run in the top of the seventh, putting them ahead 6-3 heading into the final half inning of action.

Tasked with mounting a comeback from the bottom of the lineup, the Cardinals went down in order to close out the game.

Following the loss, Mayfield head coach Richard Collins said he believes his team is close to where they need to be.

“Yesterday we had a good practice and worked on a lot of defense and I think that showed today,” Collins said. “I think we’re starting to hit the ball a little better, we squared the ball up a bit more today. Once we get our pitchers going, I think they’ll get a little more comfortable as we go. We just need a couple more games to finish out this week and hopefully by next week we’ll be tuned up and ready to go.”

2B: E. Kemp, Darnall, Gloyd

TB: Kemp 4, Darnall 2, Gloyd 2, Collins , Ellis

SB: Hawkins, Gloyd

E: E. Kemp, K. Collins

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