Chillicothe sustained third loss in row, while host Griffons earned sixth-straight win in MINK League college-level, wood-bat baseball
NEVADA, Mo. — With their top two sticks, in terms of batting average and on-base percentage, again absent from the proceedings for a second night in a row, the already-below-par Chillicothe Mudcats offense was easy pickings for Nevada Griffons righthander Peyton Warren Saturday night, June 30.
With Derek Hussey and Gaven Strobel – two of the team’s 4-men delegation of position players to last week’s MINK League All-Star Game – apparently totally unavailable as neither made an appearance in either outing, and league stolen base leader Peyton Cormane given the day off by head coach Caleb Bounds, the 2018 Mudcats suffered their first shutout as the South Division leading and streaking hosts strolled to a sixth-consecutive triumph, 7-0.
After Warren surrendered a single to Chillicothe shortstop Nico Burgarello on the first pitch of the contest, the Griffons righthander retired the next 13 Mudcats in succession, by which time he was protecting a 3-0 lead.
With Warren going the first eight frames in a relatively-economical 93 pitches and ace reliever David Ruot working an uneventful ninth to keep sharp, Chillicothe lost for a third-straight time, having multiple baserunners simultaneously only one time all night.
That was in the seventh inning when Cole Taylor’s 2-outs double sent Connor Quick, who had walked with one out, to third.
That created a fleeting chance for Chillicothe, despite its absence of offense to that juncture, to cut a then-4-0 deficit in half with one more hit. However, Warren, on the last batter he faced, got a harmless ground ball to the first baseman to strand two and post another doughnut on the scoreboard.
Despite its slow start, Chillicothe finished with only one less hit – six – than Nevada, but only in the ill-fated eighth inning did it seriously threaten to score.
The Griffons, meanwhile, capitalized on three wild pitches by Mudcats starting and losing pitcher Derrek Trickel (2-1) to break on top with three runs in the third, then added on several times, mostly with the long ball.
After three singles and a sacrifice fly were blended with the wild pitches in the third, Nevada center fielder Blake Faecher’s blast into the trees well beyond the left field fence made it 4-0 in the fourth.
In the Griffons’ seventh, a leadoff double, Trickel’s fourth wild pitch, and a fly ball swelled the hosts’ lead to 5-0. Reliever Ricky Espinoza, who came on to get the last two outs of the Nev-ada seventh, then walked the first batter in the eighth ahead of the Griffons’ second long ball of the night, a 2-runs shot by third baseman Connor Gage.
Statistically, while the teams’ hits totals were almost the same, three of Nevada’s seven were for extra bases, including the two which left Lyons Field. Chillicothe’s only extra-base blow was Taylor’s 2-bagger.
Nevada also accepted five bases on balls, while the Mudcats did not receive any.
In contrast to Warren’s pitch efficiency, Chillicothe starter Trickel had difficulty finding the plate throughout his stint. Of the 102 offerings he served to Nevada batters, 44 missed the zone.
Saturday’s loss dropped the Mudcats’ season record to 10-15 and its league mark to 9-14.
Despite that lowly MINK mark, they remained not that far removed from escaping the North Division cellar, since division leader Sedalia dispatched visiting Clarinda, Iowa, and St. Joseph was not in league action Saturday. Going into Sunday, St. Joseph and Clarinda were tied for second place, but both 4-1⁄2 games behind the accelerating Bombers. Chillicothe is seven behind Sedalia, but only 2-1⁄2 back of the other two.
The teams are to wrap up their 3-games series in Vernon County Sunday night, assuming suitable weather and playing conditions (for coverage, visit our website www.chillicothenews.com).
The Mudcats on Monday are due to begin a stretch of 10 “home” games (one of which actually will be played at Trenton) in their next 11 contests with a 6:05 p.m. doubleheader against Ozark.