MARSHALL - The weather may have been the only thing to go right for the Marshall Legion baseball team Tuesday night as the Mudcats fell to district rival Alexandria 11-1 at Legion Field.
Things were headed in the right direction for the Mudcats (2-4 overall) in the early stages of the game. After allowing a run in the first inning, Marshall tied the game in the bottom of the second after Leo Zerr scored on a passed ball. Mudcat right fielder Michael Danahar moved to second on the play. Ben Geary struck out to end the inning. Danahar, stranded at second, would be the last base-runner for Marshall in the game.
The Mudcats, who managed just one hit in the game, struggled to adjust to Alexandria pitcher Blake Stockert. According to Mudcats coach, Chace Pollock, Stockert was the first left-hander the Mudcat players had seen in a some time.
Photo by Travis Andries
Mudcats catcher Colton Peterson attempts to corral a pitch Tuesday night at Legion Field against Alexandria. The Mudcats would go on to lose 11-1.
"Give the kid credit. He pounded the zone and... made good pitches when he needed to and he didn't make any mistakes," Pollock said. "He challenged us and we couldn't do anything with it."
Stockert pitched all seven innings for Alexandria, racking up nine strikeouts while giving up one unearned run. His counterpart for Marshall, Mason Schnaible, had less success in his start.
After holding Alexandria to one run through three innings, Schnaible gave up two more runs in the fourth off of three hits. Schnaible held Alexandria in the fifth, after combining with catcher Colton Peterson, to prevent Alexandria's Nick Knoblach from stealing home. Peterson tagged out Knoblach to end the inning.
Marshall went three up, three down in its half of the fifth, bringing Schnaible back to the mound to face the heart of the Alexandria order in the top of the sixth.
A lead-off walk followed by a single had two runners on for Alexandria when first baseman AJ Anderson stepped up to the plate. Anderson smashed a Schnaible delivery over the left field fence to stretch the Alexandria lead to 6-1. Schnaible stayed in the game for one more batter, only to be relieved following a Logan Serum double. Schnaible's totals for the game were 5 1/3 innings pitched, two strike outs, two walks, seven hits, and six earned runs.
Matt Campion took over for Schnaible with one out in the sixth. He allowed two more Alexandria runs before the Mudcats were able to get out of the inning. Alexandria added three more runs in the top of the seventh off of a trio of passed balls. A caught foul tip off of the bat of Leo Zerr in the bottom of the seventh ended Marshall's night.
With the game concluded, Pollock brought his team deep into center field for their post-game talk. After taking a longer-than-usual amount of time talking with his players, Pollock was not exceedingly candid with what was brought up during the team huddle.
"I'm not going to talk a lot about where people are at but you know any time you have a game like that, guys at all positions have to be ready to go," Pollock said. "You got to get a spark somewhere. And if that's moving things around a little bit and that's what it takes, if guys are taking their spots for granted, we'll move somebody else there."
The Mudcats seek to rebound from Tuesday's performance this weekend when they partake in the Grand Rapids tournament. Marshall's first game is Friday at noon against Richfield.
Alexandria100 205 3-11 12 1
Marshall010 000 0-1 1 1
A- Blake Stockert. M- Mason Schnaible, Matt Campion (6). WP- Stockert. LP- Schnaible. HR: A- AJ Anderson. 2B: A- Anderson, Stockert, Nick Knoblach, Pat Leary, Logan Serum.