WITH ONLY EIGHT PLAYERS, CATS DEFEAT THUNDER, 15-9
With four players missing, the offense was re-discovered, as the Cats scored 15 runs at BSP to defeat the Thunder, 15-9. Once again, we jumped out to an early lead, and of course gave it all back and then some. We had 10 hits in five innings, including including three triples and a two doubles. Triples by Tim, Olen & Nye accounted for seven runs - for the game those three players each had three RBI's. Defensively, we had only two outfiielders, and it finally caught up to us in the third and fourth innings. The Thunder started getting the ball to the outfield, costing us some runs. In the fourth, the Thunder turned a 5-7 deficit into a 9-7 lead. But we responded with three runs, keyed by a 2-rbi single by Ryan. Nye put the exclamation point on it in the fifth inning with a 3-run triple. In future games, we need to keep our composure in those innings where the other team starts to rally. If we can make key plays in those innings, we can turn a 4 or 5 run inning into a 0 or 1 run inning.
CATS PLAY POORLY, LOSE 5-4
On a windy day at Zehnder, the River Cats led most of the game, then fell apart at the end to lose 5-4 to the Sand Gnats. The Cats left 13 runners on base in a very frustrating offensive day. Most of our critical at-bats resulted in a strikeout or other easy out. One huge base-running blunder cost us a run, and we lost by one. Defensively, we had four errors, with three of them costing us three runs. It was a lousy day to describe what we're trying to do as a team. Even as bad as we played, it was still a one run game, so it there is hope that we can commit four errors, get only four hits, and still be close. First loss is out of the way, hopefully we won't experience another too soon.
CATS LEAD ALL GAME AND HOLD ON TO BEAT STORM, 8-7
The River Cats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in their first at-bat, and never relinquished the lead despite the Storm;s determination. We had 10 hits and 8 walks to give us plenty of scoring opportunities. Tim paced the attack with a 3-3 day along with a walk. Eli & Ryan had 2 RBI's each. Harrison and Eli had two hits apiece. We had one challenge inning on defense in the 2nd, when three of the bottom four hitters got on base via two walks and a HBP. This is a recipe for trouble with the top of the order coming up next. Only one of those hitters got a base hit, so we were able to dodge an even bigger inning. Defense was a killer in the 4th inning, as we committed three errors, but it only resulted in one run. As we approached the end of the sixth, the umpires were determined to call the game over, even though they could not have known what time that inning would have ended. Big mouth Coach Matlen informed them that they could not declare this inning the final until it was over and then only if time had expired. As it turned out, we were at 2 hours and 15 minutes, but because they were ticked at Coach, they said we would play another. Holding onto a one run lead, we didn't score in the top of the 7th, and put in Harrison on the mound to close it out. And he did - three strikeouts, all with the curve ball on the last pitch. Nice save, Harrison. The umpires grumbled off the field, disappointed that we didn't lose.
CATS START OUT STRONG, FIZZLE AT END TO TIE THE DODGERS
In our opening game, the River Cats jumped out to a 7-1 lead by the top of the 4th, but then gave up back-to-back three run innings due to too many walks and some well placed hits while those guys who walked were on the bases. We walked seven in two innings, including four in a row at one point. That ain't gonna get it done, folks. Nice extra base hits by all the Govers, Olen with a 3B, and Luke & Nye with doubles. But only six hits on the day, including two by Eli. Andrew pitched very well for the first three, and Eli finished strong on the mound. Tim made some awesome blocks behind the plate to keep runners at bay. Our first and third plays caught two runners for outs. One official error in the field, but some judgment errors and slowness to the ball cost us some base-running advances by the Dodgers. It felt like a loss overall, because it seemed like we should have won big. There are still seven of our 12 players who don't have a batting average yet, as we completely shut down our own offense after the 4th inning. Time to remedy that with the next game.
Pacific Excavation River Cats, from Elk Grove Babe Ruth