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Scouts defeated in first game at Galion

Scouts defeated in first game at Galion

By Luke Severt, Xenia Scouts beat writer

 June 15, 2018


GALION- The past three Xenia Scouts games have been nothing short of a roller coaster of emotions, between frustration, elation, and everything in-between.


After a crushing defeat at the hands of the Lima Locos on Tuesday night, they returned vengeful on Wednesday, when they picked up their first in of the season. If that was the peak of the roller coaster, Thursday night was the bottom of the hill, where the ride slows down and prepares to halt, as the Scouts fell to the Galion Graders 13-4 at Heise Park in Galion.


It was the fourth loss in five games on the young 2018 campaign for the Scouts, yet manager Bubba Cates continues to express optimism and show few signs of frustration with his team.


“We’re a work in progress,” said Cates. “It’s going to be like that. It’s easy to look at things in a worldly fashion, but we haven’t played together very long, and we’ve got guys that are working through some things. We’re just trying to do it better.”


It was a first inning to forget for Scouts starting pitcher Palmer Steventon. The lefty gave up three singles to begin the game, followed by a long drive by Graders right fielder Austin Hathaway that managed to soar over the outfield fence as he cleared the bases with a grand slam to give his team a 4-0 lead before Steventon could record an out. He would end up allowing another run in the inning, and the Scouts trailed by five heading into the second inning.


“We just got behind the eight ball tonight,” said Cates. “We gave up four runs before we got an out, I think. It was a tough night. We just need to have some good things happen. In the first part of the ballgame is where we really need some good things to work for us.”


It was the fourth game in a row in which the opposing team has been able to muster at least one run in the first inning against Scouts pitching, and opponents have totaled 13 runs in the opening frame in only five games this season.


The Scouts offense, however, has shown some resiliency early this season, as they have clawed their way back into a game on more than one occasion, but they just fell short of doing so on Thursday. After the rough first inning, they loaded the bases in the top of the second for Scouts center fielder Cameron Murray, who promptly drove in two runs with a double to the wall. Shortstop Noah Orlando, who was on first at the time of Murray’s hit, was held up at third, and the Scouts had two men in scoring position with one out. Unfortunately for Xenia, neither runner would score in the inning, and after a two-run bottom of the second for the Graders, they were not able to come back within striking distance for the rest of the night.


“Sometimes, you get punched in the mouth a little bit, and you have to respond,” said Cates. “I thought it was big for us, we gave up five in the bottom of the first, but we scored two in the top of the second. We left guys on second and third, so if we get another base hit right there, it’s a 5-4 ballgame, and that changes the momentum a little bit. Those are the kind of things we are looking for, our guys fought back right there, we just got into a deeper hole than we could get out of.”


With the ups and downs of the past few nights for the Xenia squad, it could be easy for tensions to rise in the dugout with growing frustration, but Cates believes it is building his team’s character.


“I think the maturity of a team, and individuals that are trying to be a team, is what determines all that,” said Cates. “I’m trying to look at things objectively, and I’m trying to talk to them in a way that looks at it objectively too, but I’m challenging them, because we can do things better than we are doing them. Part of that is just learning how to play. As a Christian, we are supposed to play all out, all of the time. We are not called to be circumstantial at what we do. So the scoreboard shouldn’t come into play for us. Whether we are up 13-4 or down 13-4 we should play the same way, and we are trying to learn that.”


After Tuesday night’s 24-9 blowout loss to Lima, Cates was optimistic about the fact that his team had the opportunity to come back and play the Locos again the next night, which, as aforementioned, they did and did well. Similarly, he feels the same way about his team’s chance for rebuttal on Friday, as they will travel to Galion to play the Graders again.


“We’re going to do it better tomorrow night,” said Cates. “We’re going to come out and play hard. Like I mentioned the other day, we get to come back tomorrow and do it.”