By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
Dennis Green, the former Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals NFL coach most famous for the video of his post-game comments about not being the least surprised by the victory an opponent had scored over his team, would have fit right in at Chillicothe's "June" Shaffer Memorial Park stadium Friday night.
His emphatic assertion – "They are who we thought they were" – could have been applied equally to the host Mudcats and the visiting Nevada Griffons. That was not good news for the Fish.
In the finale of a 3-game series divided in location between Chillicothe and Trenton, both teams played to their form of the first two meetings, leading to a thus-inevitable, series-sweep-securing 7-6 Nevada victory which took 12 innings.
The Mudcats scored well early – they've outscored their foes 11-3 in the first two innings combined through the first five outings of 2013, but also continued to give away runs with defensive misplays and have trouble scoring after the first couple of frames, due to a bad habit of leaving runners in scoring position.
The Griffons (4-1, 4-1 MINK) conversely remained offensively opportunistic, producing tough-minded at-bats at key junctures, and generally-solid defensively.
The result was Chillicothe bolting to leads of 4-0 after one inning and 5-0 through two before being forced to go to extra innings by an unearned ninth-inning run and, after falling behind for the only time all night, squandering a golden opportunity for a stirring, walkoff win in college-level, wood-bat baseball.
"We at least got more runs on the board tonight," Mudcats second-year head coach Eric Peterson commented after his team scored a half-dozen times on the heels of a 3-game stretch of producing only eight runs total.
"Now we just need to field a little better and pitch a little better."
The Mudcats (1-4, 1-4 MINK) will travel to Clarinda, Iowa, today Friday for a 7 p.m. MINK League contest with the North Division-leading A's. Lefthander Vin Roth, who threw very well in getting the win in the Mudcats' opener, is ticketed to make the start on the mound.
With a forfeit win from Omaha Diamond Spirit last night, the circumstances of which were unclear at press time, Clarinda now leads the North with a 2-1 record. The Iowans are 3-1 overall.
Chillicothe will play a newly-scheduled, non-league doubleheader of 9-innings games against Kansas City Ban Johnson League teams Milgram Mustangs and KC Blues Saturday, starting with a 3 p.m. contest against the Mustangs. That play will be at the Johnson County Community College Baseball Complex in Overland Park, Kan.
Sunday, the Mudcats will go to Sedalia for a 7 p.m. league game before hosting Clarinda Monday night.