Clarinda A's uses 4-runs innings in second and fifth and later pair of 2-runs homers to cruise to home win over Fish
CLARINDA, Iowa • The hefty bats of the Clarinda, Iowa, A's hung a fifth-consecutive loss on the Chillicothe Mudcats Friday night, piling up 16 hits – including a pair of 2-run home runs – in a 13-7 mashing of the Mudcats in MINK League college-level, wood-bat baseball at Clarinda's (kluh-RINN-duzz) Municipal Stadium.
While numbers four and five hitters Bud Britt's and Bryan Nicholson's 2-run blasts in the sixth and eighth innings, respectively, drew the oohs and aahs, they only shared the spotlight with Clarinda's No. 9 batter, Cory Raley. The A's shortstop singled home the game's first run in a 4-runs second inning, doubled leading off and scored the tie breaking run the fourth after Chillicothe had erupted for four runs in the top half to tie the game, and then ripped a bases-clearing, 3-run double in the fifth to make it 9-4.
Britt's belt over the fence in left upped the count to 11-4 the next inning and Nicholson also poled one over the barrier in right-center off Mudcats relief pitcher Jake Comment, who was making his debut with the team after arriving in town Tuesday. The loss, however, belonged to starter Vin Roth (1-1), who yielded nine runs – six earned – on nine hits, three bases on balls, and two hit batsmen in only 4-1/3 innings.
Now 1-5 both overall and in the MINK League, the Chillicothe team will step outside of the loop Saturday for a doubleheader in Overland Park, Kan., against two teams from the Kansas City Ban Johnson League. The Mudcats will take on the Milgram Mustangs at 3 p.m. at the Johnson County Community College baseball complex, followed by a clash with the KC Blues. Both games are scheduled for nine innings.
The Mudcats will move on to Sedalia Sunday night for a 7 o'clock league contest against the Bombers, the only team they've beaten so far in 2013. Lefthander Zach Davis, former Carrollton High School All-State pitcher and now part of the University of Central Missouri Mules at Warrensburg, is slated to start the game at Sedalia.
Clarinda's Friday home victory boosted it to a MINK North Division-leading 3-1 mark in league action. It is 4-1 overall.
Chillicothe's only bright spot in Iowa was its 4-runs fourth inning that ever-so-briefly erased a 4-0 deficit.
Back-to-back singles by Nathan Lukes and Trevor Jones to open the inning were followed by a Kevin Magill double off the wall in left field. Both runners scored to cut the early Clarinda lead in half.
A 1-out error cracked the door open farther for Chillicothe, which capitalized with a bases-filling single by Javier Ledesma and an opposite-field, 2-run single to left by Reyn Sugai. That tied things at 4-4 and left two on with one out with a chance to go in front.
However, after a 2-outs walk loaded the bases, Lukes, who at that point owned a batting average of nearly .500, rolled over on a 3-1 pitch and tapped out to the first baseman to strand three.
Leaving runners aboard – especially in scoring position – has been a bugaboo of the Mudcats throughout their losing streak and was an issue again Friday. They had baserunners in only three of the first six innings, but managed to leave seven on, including five at either second or third base.
Behind by nine entering the final inning, Chillicothe made the final margin of its defeat a tad more presentable by getting three runs. Consecutive singles by Sugai, A.J. Hermanson, and pinch-hitter Derek Birginske in his first at-bat of the year, filled the bases with no outs.
Tyler Langley, who got to Chillicothe Thursday, put in his first appearance, hitting into a forceout at second base as Sugai scored. A double-steal then was successfully executed with Langley stealing second and Hermanson flashing home ahead of the return throw after the initial peg to second base. A 2-outs throwing error by the A's allowed Langley to come around from second base with the game's last run.
Clarinda's Britt finished the night a perfect four for four with three runs batted in and three scored. He fell a triple short of "the cycle." Raley finished three for five with four knocked in and three scored.
Chillicothe's 11-hit attack was paced by Sugai's 3-for-4 night with three RBIs and Magill's 2-for-3 showing as DH with two runs driven in.
Lukes had his season-starting of consecutive multi-hits games halted at four when he finished 1-4 before being replied by pinch-hitter Langley in the ninth.