Monday, June 1, 2009

Oilers pull past Bobcats 6-1

Marion (1-3) dropped its home opener 6-1 Monday night, allowing Owensboro (3-1) to score five runs in the final three innings and wasting a strong, three-hit outing by Trey Smith (0-0. 1.50 ERA).

Smith worked six innings, allowing only one of the six runners he put on to score. The lanky righty struck out six Oilers in route to the no decision. Ryan Rogers (1-1, 8.10), a left-handed thrower who earned Marion's only win in the season-opener at Tradewater, gave up three runs in two innings of relief of Smith and was given the loss. Josh Reynolds (0-0, 12.00) pitched the ninth, giving up two earned runs.
Jake Martin, tied for the team lead in RBI with three, accounted for the only scoring for Marion when he pushed lead-off hitter Austin Messersmith across the plate in the second inning. Martin, Brett Cleveringa and Drew Barrett accounted for the Bobcats' only hits. Martin and Barrett also added a stolen base to their stats.
Both teams left 10 runners on base and Marion managed only three hits off four Oiler pitchers. Defensively, the Bobcats committed two errors, giving the team 13 in only four games this year.
But four games into the season, Smith is the third starting pitcher to work six strong innings for the Bobcats, On Saturday, lefty Nathan ball worked six, giving up an unearned run but taking the loss. On Sunday, Evan Vinyard, another southpaw, gave up five runs but struck out 10 and appeared to get sharper as the game progressed.
The problem for the Bobcats is a familiar refrain to fans who followed the team in its inaugural year - an anemic offense.  Forty-two runners have been left on base by the hitting corps. General Manager Gordon Guess said batters are being patient and drawing walks to get on, but the clutch hitting that was missing in 2008 has yet to show up in 2009.
Manager Steve Fowler, who measures his line-ups in the first 10 games of the season, is aiming for a 5-5 record over that period, but Marion is already 1-3, set to face the defending KIT League Champion Oilers again on Tuesday. By the end of 10 games, the longtime manager says he has a good feel for who will comprise his every-day line-ups and calls a .500 record a good place to start one a regular line-up is set. 
On Tuesday, Fowler will throw Bo Daves (0-0, 2.25), who threw four innings for the Bobcats in the victory against the Pirates. Jordon Grinestaff (1-0, 0.00) will start for Owensboro.