St. Joe was by far the more fundamental team through six innings, committing one error to Buffalo's four in that span and turning three double plays. Tribble lamented his team's spotty start, which included:
"That's why we're 11-12,'' Tribble said, "That's what 11-12 teams do. Teams that are 24-5 and state championship teams don't do that. We do things 11-12 teams do. That's just the truth - I'm not going to sugarcoat it. You'd think by this time of the year we'd have perfected some of it, but I think in some phases we've gotten worse.
"Give St. Joe credit. We beat them 25-2 and it could have been a hundred that night, and they had no memory of that whatsoever. Our kids memorized that. They thought we were going to do the same thing again tonight. You've got to have a short memory in this game. I congratulate St. Joe. They came in here and played it like it was a sectional game, and we didn't. Our kids were flat and lethargic. They can blame all that on me, but I don't throw the ball, don't catch the ball, don't hit the ball. They outplayed us in every phase of the game.''
Tribble felt like the Bison came into the game with misplaced confidence.
"This team doesn't have any reason to be overconfident against anybody they play,'' he said. "They've got to come to the field every day with their 'A' game or we could get embarrassed. We were fortunate in the last inning to hit the ball to one of their weaker infielders, and he didn't make the play. If we hit it to shortstop [Michael Mayes], the game would be over.''
Lewis and Caplinger each went 2 for 3 for Buffalo. Caplinger had a two-run single in the fifth. Nick Whittington got the win with two innings of relief.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.