Bobcats' outfield Danny Tejeda pretty much summed things up after Monday's 6-0 to the Pirates (19-9).
"We're just in a slump," Tejeda said of Marion's offense.
A slump that extends back to about 9:30 Thursday, to be exact. That was the last time Marion scored a run - to tie the game in the ninth inning and send the contest against Owensboro into extra frames. The Bobcats have failed to push a run across the plate in the last 30 innings, a spell that includes the last three games and the final three innings of that extra-inning 5-2 loss to Owensboro.
"Like I said yesterday, I've never seen anything like it," Manager Steve Fowler said. "We're not even getting to the point where we can manufacture a run."
On Monday, Marion (11-18) managed only four hits. Pirate starter Don Pugliese (4-0, 1.95 ERA) pitched seven innings, giving up only two hits. He was relieved by Payne Spence (0-1) and Jonathan Lee (0-1), who each gave up a hit in one inning of respective relief.
The Bobcats almost broke the scoring drought in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with two out. However, 6-foot-7 Lee (0-1) was able to get Mitch McClay to hit a weak grounder to second for the final out.
"I've tried everything," Fowler said. "I've shuffled the line-up. I've shuffled the defense. I've sat guys..."
Reaching safely in the game for the Bobcats were Dustin Kennon with a double and McClay, Tejeda and Lucas Cramsey with singles. Adam Enloe, who was once flirting with .400, was o for 4 and is now batting .340. Jacob Martin, who was not in the line-up Monday, has also dropped his average from near .400 to .285.
The lack of hitting is putting extra pressure on Bobcat pitchers, Fowler said after the game. With no run support, the manager said his throwers are pressing, believing that any runner they put on could mean the ball game.
On Monday, starter Bo Daves (2-1, 3.81) was the most recent victim. Daves was careful to not walk a single batter, but his careful pitching gave Pirate batters an easy mark. Tradewater pounded out 10 hits against Daves, scoring three earned runs in six innings.
"That's as many hits as I've given up all year," Daves said after the game.
In fact, Daves had given up only 14 hits in 24 and two-thirds innings all season.
The first of the Pirate scores against Daves came from a two-run home run off the bat Nathan Wright in the first inning. Richard Atwood would single in another run in the sixth off Daves, and score on an error later in the inning.
Tradewater's last two runs came off reliever Chris Buckman (2-0) in the seventh inning. Buckman walked two and allowed an RBI double to Logan Bawcom. Atwood would tally another RBI in the inning on a fielder's choice.
Chad Adcock (0-1) and Bobby Woods (0-0) closed the game for the Bobcats, each pitching an inning of scoreless relief.
The Pirates committed three errors on the night; the Bobcats only one.
While Fowler was visibly frustrated after the game, he still feels hosting a playoff game is within reach. After play Monday, the Bobcats were only 2.5 games out of fourth place behind Union City. In the KIT League playoff format, third- and fourth-place teams host the sixth- and fifth-place teams, respectively, in a single-game playoff for Round 1 of the postseason.
The Bobcats still have five games remaining against Union City.
The Bobcats are 8.5 behind the Pirates for second place and nine behind Fulton for first place.
In other notes:
- Martin was absent from the line-up Monday. Martin, according to sources, lost a close friend in a car wreck over the weekend. He is expected back in the line-up Tuesday.
- The Bobcats will be bagging and carrying out groceries Wednesday at Conrad's Food Store in Marion. The team will be signing autographs and talking to fans throughout the day at the grocery store.
The Greyhounds pick up their second straight win over the Firebirds in Farmington and maintain their 4th position in the standings at 6 and half games back. Farmington now has lost 6 straight and have 2 days off before welcoming the Marion Bobcats on Thursday for a 2 game, night series
Fulton 7, Owensboro 4
Game summary pending.
Game summary pending.