Sauk Rapids stunts A’s season

With the bases loaded and one out, the Marshall A’s needed just one run to extend their season at least one half inning. Unfortunately for the A’s, Jason Minett hit into a double play ending Marshall’s season with a 4-3 loss to the Sauk Rapids Cyclones.

“Bases-loaded nobody out, you’re kind of feeling good about yourself then,” A’s manager Sean Culhane said. “We walked a guy in and it’s 4-3. It’s not a bad to end the year bases loaded with one of your best hitters up to bat.”

The A’s did score one run in the ninth off of Sauk Rapids starter Andy Thayer before he was relieved by Jason Hoppe. It was Marshall’s first run since plating two off an Andrew Kinney double in the first inning.

Thayer settled in for seven consecutive scoreless innings during the heart of the game, while Hoppe picked up the two-out save for the Cyclones.

“He throws from a couple different arm slots and he’s effective when he does that,” Culhane said of Thayer. “He doesn’t overpower anybody but he knows what he’s doing. He just throws strikes.”

Marshall got a strong outing from its own starter, as Travis McGlauflin went 5 2/3 innings and allowed just one earned run. Two errors by the A’s resulted in three of the Cylcones’ four runs on the game.

“I don’t think Travis threw a bad ballgame, that score could have been a lot different had he done that,” Culhane said. “We didn’t score runs when we needed to score runs. We didn’t get the opportunity to score them. There were some big plays and that happens when the score is 4-3.”

Former Southwest Minnesota State University Mustang John Nemec had one of the game’s big plays, as he drilled a two-out single to bring in two runs for Sauk Rapids in the fourth inning. The two-run base hit gave the Cyclones their first lead of the game, which they would not relinquish.

The loss ends Marshall’s season after a 20-8 overall record. Culhane said that the A’s, fielding one of its youngest rosters in years, took some time to establish their roles, but were playing their best ball by the end of the summer.

“Looking at the age of our team, we couldn’t get any younger I don’t think. I liked our team at the end of the year. I thought we were salty,” Culhane said. “We could play the game, everybody understood their role and we had a consistent group that showed up to every game and played hard. I enjoyed it. I told the guys that (Saturday), I enjoyed this year and that I think we could play with anybody.”