Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bobcats' defense continues woes

Marion's defense once again let down the pitching staff, committing five errors Sunday that lead to four of Fulton's runs in a 6-2 win over the Bobcats.

The Railroaders took advantage of three errors in the ninth inning to put away what had been a 4-1 game since the fifth inning, when Fulton stretched a 2-1 one lead by adding the first two unearned runs of the evening. All five Bobcat errors were made in the infield.
"I don't have a magic wand," Bobcats manager Steve Fowler said after the game.
But the injury bug may have played a role in the porous defense Sunday. A sore arm and bad back kept two of Marion's regular infielders, shortstop Drew Barrett and third baseman Andy Harris, respectively, out of the line-up. Harris,  Saturday's hero with with a walk-off, run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth, will likely miss Monday's game against the Fulton, as well, Fowler said.
"It's bad if he's not in the line-up," the manager said. "He took himself out of tonight's line-up when he got to the park."
The Bobcats lead off the game with a run in the first when Jake Martin started Marion's offense with single and advanced to home on a passed ball and wild pitch.
Marion starter Ryan Rogers (1-2) held the lead until the third when two runs scored off a pair of hits and a walk. But the real damage came in the fifth when two Bobcat errors and a passed ball contributed to two scores with two out in the frame. 
Rogers would end his night after six, taking his second loss of the year but actually lowering his ERA to 3.27. He was sharp all night, staying ahead of hitters and striking out the side in the second and sixth en route to a nine strike-out night.
Jason Long and Nathan Ball, two more left-handers on Fowler's staff, finished the night on the mound for the Bobcats, each striking out two. Ball, however, would be saddled with two unearned runs in his only inning of work in the ninth. All three of the errors that lead to both runs came on the Bobcats' left side of the infield – shortstop Mike DeSanto with two failed pick-ups on a ball hit up the middle and a throw from catcher Fred Rossi on a stolen base and third baseman Austin Messersmith on a bad pick-up.
Marion rallied in the bottom the ninth for one run that scored on a wild pitch in the person of pinch hitter Rob Dyer, who drew a walk to start the inning. Dyer moved to second when pinch hitter Barrett coaxed another walk from Fulton's Billy Grant, who relieved starter Travis Tingle (2-0) after permitting only one run in eight innings. An errant pitch from Grant after Dyer moved to third on a fielder's choice, allowed the Seneca, N.Y. native to score. Mike Rizzuto, however, flied out to right with one on to end the game.
Tingle gave up six hits and a walk, but the only run he allowed scored in the first off a wild pitch from his own arm. He fanned nine batters in his eight innings of work.
Martin went 2-for-5 with a double and scored one of Marion's two runs. Catcher Fred Rossi was 1-for-3 with a walk, and designated hitter Drew Williams had double in the third.
The bottom third of Marion's order was 0-for-10, and nine batters were stranded on the night, stretching the season total to 76 in eight games. Meantime, 20 Bobcat errors have been committed in as many games.
In other KIT League action: