MARSHALL - Hosting the St. Cloud Snappers on Saturday for a twin bill at Legion Field, the Marshall A's got a small taste of Section 7 play.
Moved to a section that includes several teams from Central Minnesota, the A's managed a split with the Snappers, winning 15-5 in five innings in Game 1 before St. Cloud held onto a 4-3 victory in Game 2.
Things looked bleak for Marshall in Game 1 after the Snappers went up 4-1 after the top of the second inning. But seven hits and eight runs later, Marshall was in a commanding 9-4 lead through two.
Photo by Joe Brown
Marshall’s Kyle Young fouls off a pitch by St. Cloud Snappers pitcher Corey Fitzgerald (not pictured) during Game 2 of Saturday’s twin bill at Legion Field. The A’s split with the Snappers, winning 15-5 in Game 1 before losing 4-3 in Game 2.
St. Cloud added a run in the fourth before the A's tacked on six more runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game via the 10-run rule.
"That was a good way to start the day for us," said Marshall manager Sean Culhane.
Tyler Flattum paced the A's in Game 1, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs. Andrew Kinney went 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, while Zach Olson, Taylor Rignell and Ryan Engels made the 7-8-9 spots a tough out as the trio each had a pair of hits.
After a shaky start on the bump, Zach Olson was able to relax in the later innings, getting the win after a four-strikeout, two-walk effort.
"Zach Olson really gave us a gritty effort," Culhane said. "He didn't have his best stuff to start off, but he fought it off and got us the win."
After two scoreless innings in Game 2, the Snappers struck swiftly in the bottom of the third with a two-run double by Brad Haag and an RBI single single by DJ Schleicher for a 3-0 advantage.
Culhane said that while the scoreboard only had the A's down for one error, lapes on defense cost his team dearly in Game 2.
"We just didn't help ourselves defensively," Culhane said. "When you're in the game with a good team like them, you can't give up any, as I'd call them, automatic outs."
Flattum finally got Marshall on the board in the top of the fourth, scoring on a wild pitch. Designated hitter Cody Curry later scored on an RBI single by Taylor Rignell.
Curry got another run across home plate in the top of the fifth, bringing Flattum home on an RBI single. Curry led the A's offense in the second game, going 2-for-3 and reaching base on three of his four at-bats.
In the bottom half of the frame, Bruce Thompson opened things up with a leadoff double, eventually scoring the deciding run for St. Cloud on a wild pitch.
With two outs and bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Marshall had a prime opportunity to get a run across with Andrew Kinney at the plate. Looking to go deep, Kinney popped out to deep center, ending the A's chances of tying the game.
Stranded runners were a reoccurring theme for Marshall in Game 2 Saturday as the A's left 11 runners on base.
"We left a lot on base, like a small army on base," Culhane said. "We're not going to get hits like we did in Game 1 in every single game. We have got to learn in a seven-inning game like that that we need to get up right away."
Despite taking the loss, Dickhausen (4-3) put together another strong outing on the mound, striking out seven and allowing just two walks.
Marshall returns to the diamond on Tuesday, taking on the Tracy Express in a non-league contest.
St. Cloud220 10-5 8 3
Marshall180 06-15 15 3
M-Zach Olson. WP-Olson. 2B: M-Andrew Kinney.
Marshall000 210 0-3 8 1
St. Cloud003 010 X-4 7 2
M-Nate Dickhausen; SC-Corey Fitzgerald. WP-Fitzgerald. LP-Dickhausen. 2B: M-Tyler Flattum; SC-Bruce Thompson 2, Brad Haag.