A’s strike out against Saints

MARSHALL – A week after Sacred Heart busted up a seven-game mid-summer winning streak for the Marshall A’s, the two Corn Belt League foes were back at it at Legion Field Wednesday night with the A’s looking to start up a new streak on the 25th Annual Whopper Night.

The Saints had other plans, however, and behind a complete game by pitcher Jeremy Hinderks served up more of the same to the A’s with a 7-3 win.

The A’s didn’t help themselves out either, committing three errors in the game while stranding 11 base runners over the nine innings. Most notable was a squandering of consecutive singles in the bottom of the seventh with Marshall trailing by two runs.

“Obviously the most evident is the seventh,” A’s manager Sean Culhane said. “In games like this playing (Sacred Heart), they’re a good baseball team and you can’t give opportunities away. That’s what I think we did, we squandered a big inning. I think we could have had one in the seventh and gotten it all tied up again.

“That stuff happens. We need to get on the field more,” Culhane added. “It’s not an excuse, but we just need to play more. We can’t leave guys on and you can’t play defensively the way we did.”

With just one game, a 15-1 drubbing of the Minneota Mudhens on Friday, over the past week, the well-rested A’s looked a little two rested defensively. The three errors made by the A’s resulted in four Sacred Heart runs, including two runs in the top of the seventh to break a 3-3 tie.

The Saints added a run each in the eighth and ninth innings off of Marshall reliever Nate Dickhausen, but starter Travis McGlauflin took the loss. McGlauflin went 6 2/3 innings, giving up five runs (two earned) on five hits with three strikeouts. Dickhausen finished off the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits.

Hinderks, on the other hand, went the distance, striking out three, but giving up 12 hits. In spite of the success the A’s batters had in making contact, Hinderks was equally effective in scattering the hits and preventing the big inning. He also seemed to get stronger as the game went along, dialing up the velocity for key outs.

“That’s what he does. You’ve got to get to him early because he gets better as he goes,” Culhane said of Hinderks. “He gets more loose and starts to throw harder. When it all comes down to it, the mistakes are clear when we look at that baseball game. And it’s a credit to Jeremy. He threw well and he just beat us. We didn’t take care of the opportunities when we had them.”

Tanner Neale was the most successful against Hinderks, finishing the game 3-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a double. Taylor Rignell also put together a multiple hit game for the A’s, finding the holes in the infield for a pair of singles. Andrew Kinney was 2-for-5 with a run scored as well.

Sacred Heart opened the game up with a pair of runs in the top of the first, taking advantage of a mental error (if not a score-book error) by the A’s. Instead of turning the double play on a ground ball to shortstop, the A’s tried to throw out the lead off runner. The throw was late and all runners were safe. A two-out single by Mike Johnson drove in the two runs, though the second run could have been an out at the plate if not for an off-target relay.

The A’s got one back in the second when Neale singled in Kinney, but the Saints would regain the two-run lead in the fifth.

Following a wild pitch, Neale attempted to throw out an advancing runner at third. The throw carried over Mason Schnaible’s head and into left field, resulting in a run.

“It’s all stuff that’s correctable,”?Culhane said. “It’s not the end of the world. It’s a loss. Do you want to play like that every game? Absolutely not, but we know what we need to correct and we will.”

Neale led off the bottom of the fifth with a double, scoring on Ben Korger’s RBI groundout to make the score 3-2. Rignell scored the tying run on a single by Jordon Kontz.

Marshall left nine of its 11 stranded base runners on following the two-runs in the fifth, while also picking up six hits in that stretch.

The A’s (10-3 overall) will have to win on the road if they are to start another winning streak. Marshall is back in action tonight against the Willmar Rails for the first of three straight games away from Legion Field.