Having allowed 29 runs in three games to Joplin the three prior nights, the Chillicothe Mudcats college-level wood-bat baseball team was hoping a change of opponent would bring different results last night.
Boy, did it!
A rash of fifth-inning errors by the visitors proved to be the total difference?as the Mudcats shut out the Kansas City Monarchs 4-0 in non-league play at “June”?Shaffer Memorial?Park stadium.
Four errors by the Kansas City?Ban Johnson League team allowed Chillicothe to do all of its scoring with only two hits in that inning.
“It’s nice to actually get some errors thrown back our way, where it leads to runs for us. We’ve donated a lot of runs this year,” commented Mudcats head coach?Eric Peterson as he and his team eagerly looked forward to their first “off” day of the season today.
“We’re trying to eliminate that and that starts with the pitching. If we can create contact (regularly), we can trust our defense. If we’re walking guys, (the defensive position players) standing around and it’s hard to play that way.
“We had a talk today about how we’re going to attack the hitters from here on out and hopefully what you saw today is what you’re going to see on Tuesday and the rest of the season.”
Other than the Monarchs’ 1-inning defensive collapse, there was very little difference between the Mudcats pitching tandem of starter Cole Isom?(2-0) and Aaron Hyder and Monarchs righthander Jonathan?Krysa.
The Chillicothe duo combined on a 4-hit shutout,?Hyder going the last three innings to earn his second save – both times in relief of Isom. Krysa gave up only five hits and walked none in the undeserved loss.
“The pitching was good tonight,” praised former hurler Peterson.
Sunday’s victory was Chillicothe’s second shutout triumph of the early going.
In winning its first non-MINK?League outing of the summer,?Chillicothe moved its overall record to 6-7; the Kansas City?Monarchs are 5-6 overall.
The Mudcats will rest today, then welcome the Sedalia Bombers to Shaffer Park tomorrow night at 7:05 for a resumption of league competition.
Righthander Steve Adkins, who came within four outs of a 7-inning perfect game in his last start, is due to get the ball against Sedalia, which was won both previous meetings with the Mudcats this season.
Starting pitchers Isom and Krysa dictated yesterday’s action – or lack of it – through the first four innings. They yielded a combined three hits and five baserunners in that span.
After the Chillicothe lefthander worked around a dropped 2-out fly ball in the top of the fifth, a major defensive meltdown by the Monarchs sabotaged J. Krysa and provided the game's only scoring.
Third baseman Tyler Duplantis from Nicholls State University in Louisiana led off the home fifth with his second single of the day, a grounder through the hole on the left side.
Levi Grassley followed with a slow grounder that the shortstop grabbed, but threw wide of second and into shallow right field for an error that allowed Duplantis to move to third with no outs.
After a strikeout, Mitch Huckabay's high bouncer just got over J. Krysa's head, allowing Duplantis to score while the second baseman made a nice play to nip Huckabay at first.
Andy Westfall, a newly-minted Mudcat added after outfielder Chris Famiglietti suffered a season-ending back injury during Saturday night's game, grounded to shortstop and that was booted as Grassley took third and the inning continued.
Isaac Smith tested the shortstop yet again and the infielder's luck had not changed yet. Charging and fielding the bouncer, he threw on the run and threw wide for his third error of the inning. Grassley dented the plate for a
2-0 Chillicothe lead and Westfall alertly sped to third.