A’s show mercy in old rivalry

MARSHALL – Big 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher Travis McGlauflin has had a tough start to the season for the Marshall A’s, but not because of what he’s done on the mound. Wet weather limited his outings, and Friday’s game against the rival Milroy Yankees was just his second start of the young season.

In his first action since May 17 against Minneota when he earned a win in his debut with the A’s, McGlauflin didn’t show many signs of rust. He struck out six batters and gave up just four hits in a complete-game shutout as the A’s finished off the Yankees 10-0 in seven innings at Legion Field.

McGlauflin, who completed his freshman season pitching for Southwest Minnesota State in the spring, walked two of the first three batters Friday but didn’t allow any more free passes the next six innings as he breezed through the Yankees’ lineup.

“He really settled into his own and got into it,” A’s manage Sean Culhane said. “The problem was he was supposed to throw last weekend and we got rained out so he didn’t come up. That’s the issue is the poor guy just can’t get any innings. He hadn’t thrown for about two-and-a-half weeks when he threw last time and then he hadn’t thrown for two weeks until this one.

“You can throw and throw, but at some point you have to do it live and I thought he was effective. To scatter four hits over seven innings, that’s pretty good. I was very happy with how he threw and the effort that he gave us. It was everything we could have asked for out of a starter.”

Friday’s game against the Yankees was the A’s first Corn Belt League contest of the season. The win improves Marshall’s overall record to 4-1. The Yankees drop to 4-1 after suffering their first loss of the year.

McGlauflin’s outing was just part of a strong overall game for the A’s. At the plate they had 12 hits against Yankee pitchers Nathan Deutz and Austin Deutz.

Marshall hit well from the start, scoring two runs in the first inning by stringing together three straight hits. Jordon Kontz started off a two-out rally with a double to left-center and was driven in by clean-up hitter Cody Curry on a broken-bat single over the shortstop. Right fielder Zach Olson followed with an RBI double to right to knock in another run.

Milroy starter Nathan Deutz held the A’s in check as much as he could over the next four innings, allowing two more runs on six hits, but Marshall’s offense broke through for six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to push the lead to double digits. It was the second game in a row that Marshall scored in double figures. They blew out Dawson 16-0 on Wednesday.

Culhane said the increased offensive out put has been the result of better purpose at the plate by his hitters.

“Nathan’s a very good pitcher and so is Austin. We got guys on against them, worked walks, put a couple of balls in play and then all of the sudden things happen,” Culhane said. “That’s kind of the way the night went for us. What I’m more impressed with is we’re getting good counts to hit balls on, we’re getting our counts, hitter’s counts, and that’s what I’m happy with.”

That wasn’t the case for the Yankees, who only threatened to score in a couple of innings.

“We were a little overzealous tonight,” Yankees manager Ryan Rohlik said. “I don’t want to say we were pressing, but maybe we were rushing things a bit. But hey, it’s one game and we’ll be ready to go Sunday and we’ll see what happens when they come to our park later.”

There was a scary moment at the plate in the Colton Peterson pinch-hit for Milroy in the top of the seventh. Peterson, a who completed his high school career with the Marshall Tigers the day prior, fouled off a pitch and it slammed into his cheek bone. Rohlik said the stitches of the baseball were clearly visible on Peterson’s cheek, which swelled up quickly. Peterson was taken to the hospital to get checked out before the game ended.

The Yankees will hope for a positive prognosis for Peterson but could be without him for at least their next game, which is Sunday at New London/Spicer.

The A’s are back on their home field today when they face Chokio. The game time has been moved from 7:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.