The Marshall A's got away with making several miscues in their first two games of the season against Hadley and Minneota, but Saturday in Luverne the mistakes caught up them.
The Luverne Redbirds handed the A's their first loss of the season, capitalizing on a pair of Marshall errors in a 6-3 victory. Marshall also struggled at the plate, failing to get key hits to take advantage of eight Luverne walks.
"We need to get into playing more consistently," A's manager Sean Culhane said. "We need to get back into the cage and taking ground balls in practice. It's not really getting back to the ABC's of baseball, but we just have to get back into baseball mode.
"We'll be fine. A loss is a loss, they'll happen, we just have to get back into it."
Nate Dickhausen made his first start of the season and gave up five runs (four earned) in five innings of work. He allowed five hits, walked five batters and struck out two.
Dickhausen has been one of the A's top pitchers the last couple of seasons and Culhane said he thought the right-hander had a decent outing.
Marshall 020 000 100-3 7 2
Luverne 001 220 10X-6 7 1
M-Nate Dickhausen, Ben Korger (6), Jaron Christenson (9). LP-Dickhausen. 2B: M-Andrew Kinney.
"It was just one of those things where he wasn't going to throw a ton of innings right away," Culhane said. "For him, without being to practice and barely having any time on the bump, he didn't throw that bad at all and kept us in it.
"What cost us was defensively. We just have to figure that out. We made a couple of costly errors."
Ben Korger pitched two innings in relief and gave up one run on two hits with a pair of strikeouts. A's newcomer Jaron Christenson pitched the final inning and held the Redbirds hitless.
Culhane said Christenson, a left-hander, tried to play baseball at Southwest Minnesota State but had back issues. He's a pitcher Culhane said throws hard and could see a lot of innings this season.
Marshall scored two runs in the second inning for an early lead before Luverne scored five runs over the next three innings to take control. Marshall was led offensively by Andrew Kinney, who was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a walk. Jason Minett also had a pair of hits, and Korger was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Andrew DeBoer started on the mound for Luverne and tossed six innings to earn the win.
"They threw their best pitchers at us from my understanding, and they're good," Culhane said. "But when you draw eight walks and only score three runs, you have to start putting better at-bats together. Our mental approach needs to change in how we're going about out at-bats."
The A's will try to get it together on Friday when they play host to Castlewood (S.D.) at 7:30 p.m. at Legion Field.