Scouts lose first home game to Joes, 4-2
Scouts lose first home game to Joes, 4-2
By Luke Severt, Xenia Scouts beat writer
June 11, 2018
XENIA- It was a weekend that just fell a bit short.
In their first home game of the season, the Xenia Scouts had the winning run at the plate with only one out in the bottom of the ninth inning in Sunday afternoon’s 4-2 loss to the Hamilton Joes at Grady’s Field. However, Joes starting pitcher Donovan Thacker induced a game-ending double play, finishing his complete game and securing Hamilton’s weekend sweep of the Scouts.
It was the second day in a row that the Scouts were defeated by the Joes, following their 8-7 loss on Saturday. Despite falling to an 0-2 record on the year, Scouts manager Bubba Cates was not disappointed in his team’s performance.
“No I’m not (discouraged), in fact, I am encouraged,” Cates said postgame. “We’ve been here for only a few days, and we haven’t really practiced, we haven’t had a chance to do that, so we don’t really know our guys. I kinda made my mind up that I would pitch a lot of guys and play a lot of guys, and that’s what we did.”
Cates and his staff created an almost entirely new lineup for Sunday’s affair, with shortstop Noah Orlando being the only Scout to play in both games of the weekend.
“We’re not too much into the ‘win the position’ area,” said Cates. “These guys are here to play this summer. In my mind, I want to beat these other teams with everybody we have, I don’t want to beat them with just our best guys. So we are going to find a way to play all of our guys. We’ve got to find a way to balance our lineup out so if we are going to use two groups like that they’re very similar, not one heavier than the other one, and that’s the challenge for me. You have to be a team oriented player, and not be a selfish guy, to do what we do.”
Similarly to Saturday’s lineup that scored four runs their first time at-bat, the Scouts were able to wake their bats up early on Sunday. They scored two runs in the first inning to tie the game after they had fallen behind in the top of the inning. Unlike Saturday’s lineup, however, they would fail to score a run for the remainder of the game. They would end up tallying six hits, with first baseman Caleb Eder leading the team with two singles and an RBI.
“Offensively, we talked about doing some things a little differently,” Cates said. “Their guy pitched awfully well today. But in yesterday’s ballgame we struck out 14 times, and we struck out only three times today. We talked about that, and adjustments to make, and I thought our guys did a good job of that.”
The Achilles’ heel for the Xenia offense on Sunday was not the strikeout, but instead the double play. Thacker induced four double plays throughout the game, with two of those coming with runners in scoring position.
Cates again used a collection of pitchers like he did on Saturday night. Five Scouts took the mound on Sunday, including Palmer Steventon, Diego Quinones, Will Wentz, Thomas Fleser, and Sam Dralle. Combined, they surrendered four runs, but only three were earned. They gave up ten hits, while striking out nine and walking only three.
“Our pitchers pitched extremely well,” said Cates. “We did a good job today. I think we only walked maybe three hitters, so we pitched very well. That’s encouraging, because a lot of times if you run five guys out there, somebody gets roughed up a little bit. But that didn’t happen today, so that was good, we had a good day.”
Of the five pitchers, the most dominant was right-hander Diego Quinones from Mercy College in New York. He was tasked with handling the third and fourth innings, and he did so flawlessly, as he didn’t allow a baserunner and struck out two.
“I feel pretty good,” Quinones said. “I was struggling during school and stuff like that, and it felt so great to pitch today, and have some fun. That’s all we have to do, have some fun and strike people out, and back up my teammates.”
The Scouts do not play Monday, as they will be resting and preparing for a two game series against the defending Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League champion Lima Locos. They will play at home on Tuesday and Wednesday, with both games taking place at Grady’s Field in Xenia. The Scouts (0-2) will be looking to pick up their first win against the Locos (1-1).