Marshall A’s pound Dawson Drakes 16-0

MARSHALL – For the Marshall A’s, it was good to be home.

Marshall bounced back from its first loss of the season over a week ago with a 16-0 win over the Dawson Drakes on Wednesday night in Marshall.

“We were just hoping we would get the game in,” said Marshall manager Sean Culhane. “It’s a good game to play that we can get in mid-week. It was a good ballgame in the sense that there wasn’t a ton of errors. In the end we were just hitting the ball well.”

The A’s used a solid all-around game, collecting 16 hits while allowing only two. They also had a clean night in the field, committing zero errors.

“If you look at our stats from the last three games, we had a lot of errors,” Culhane said. “To not have any errors and play pretty seamless baseball, that was pretty good.”

Drakes manager Steven Kaas felt that overall Dawson played well, it was a few mistakes that were the big difference.

“A little of what got under my skin was the pop flies we let drop because we were playing so deep,” Kaas said. “You have to respect (their batters), but we were playing so deep a lot of balls were falling in front of our outfielders. Our pitcher threw a great game, but they got their hits.”

Marshall got things started in the bottom of the first when Mason Schnaible led off with a single before stealing second and advancing to third on a fly ball. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Jordon Kontz, making it a 1-0 game.

The A’s added a pair of runs in the second inning when Zach Olson and Ben Kroger scored on a Taylor Rignell single to go up 3-0.

In the top of the third Esten Weber got Dawson’s first hit of the game and stole second with one out, but was stranded there to end the inning.

“It was a lot more speed than we’re used to seeing,” Weber said. “Now we’ve been hitting off faster pitchers, so when we go back to our league games we should see the ball a little better.”

In the bottom of the third it looked like the Drakes were going to get through the inning without allowing a run, but a miscommunication between the third baseman and shortstop gave Cody Curry new life at the plate.

Curry proceeded to knock out a double, putting himself and Andrew Kinney in scoring position. Olson laced a single, driving both baserunners in to give Marshall a 5-0 lead.

“I thought we were pushing a bit the first three games,” Culhane said. “Guys weren’t seeing a lot of pitches and they weren’t working people in the count, getting their pitch.”

Anthony Berreau started off the fourth inning with a hit for Dawson, but Derek Gritmacker grounded into a double play for a quick two outs, followed by Nate Dickhausen’s fourth strikeout of the night.

The A’s took advantage of four hits in the fourth to score four runs, pushing the lead to nine.

A Drake’s throwing error in the fifth led to another pair of Marshall runs, but it was the five-run, four-hit sixth inning that sealed the game. The A’s sent 10 batters to the plate and took advantage of three walks to build a commanding 16-0 lead, which would stand.

“I was out in front the first couple times. The next times I sat back and drove the ball,” said Marshall’s Jason Minett, who was 2-for-5 with three RBI for the A’s. “You just have to tell yourself to sit back and be patient, wait for the ball to get to you, which we did.”

Dickhausen, Curry and Dylan Shoemaker, who signed with the A’s on Wednesday, combined to allow two hits and strike out five for Marshall.

“The name of the game is to throw strikes and let your defense work,” Culhane said. “I think that’s what we saw tonight.”

Both teams will take the field again on Friday when the Drakes (4-6) will return to Land O’Ducks play when they play host to Canby in Dawson. Marshall (3-1) will open Cornbelt League play when the Milroy Yankees come to Marshall.

“It’s one that everyone should come out and see,” Culhane said. “It’s the start of our league games in the Cornbelt and Milroy and us always play good ballgames together. It’s always fun. It’s two good ball teams matching up and going at it.”