Scouts swept in Canada
Scouts swept in Canada
By Luke Severt, Xenia Scouts beat writer
July 24, 2018
ST. CLAIR, Ontario- Before every game the Xenia Scouts have played this year, they have lined up and removed their caps to honor the United States of America with the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Before their doubleheader on Sunday evening, they did the same. But they weren’t done. They stood their, hats off, hands on their hearts, as the honored the nation of Canada with the playing of their National Anthem as well.
The Scouts crossed the border to play two games against the St. Clair Green Giants, a team located near Windsor, Ontario, only a few miles beyond the border between the two countries. The Scouts lost both games, the first a 2-1 loss, the second 2-2. Regardless of the results on the field, being able to play baseball in another country is an experience that the players will never forget.
The weather conditions were not ideal north of the border, as rain forced the first game, which was originally planned for Saturday, to be pushed to Sunday, and a doubleheader consisting of two seven-inning games was played.
Scouts manager Jason Lester said that as a team, the approach to a doubleheader is different, because you need to try to score runs early, and it is harder to come back from a deficit when you are losing because of the shortened games. Unfortunately for the Scouts, these truths were evident on Sunday.
The poor conditions continued on Sunday, as there was a two-hour weather delay before both teams were forced to play in a cold wind and rain. Despite the elements, both games were played as clean, low-scoring pitcher’s duels.
“It’s hard to stay focused,” said shortstop Nick Tuttle about the weather. “It’s definitely something where, whenever it’s time you just have to flip that switch. It’s a mental thing.”
In the first affair, Caleb Eder started on the mound and only allowed two runs, both coming in the third inning. The Scouts were only able to score once, in the fifth inning, and took the loss, despite out hitting the Green Giants 6-4.
In the following contest, it was a similar type of game. Ben Bills was dominant on the mound for the Scouts, throwing five innings and allowing just one unearned run on four hits. Ryan Moeller relieved him, and gave up another run, but the Scouts simply could not produce offensively. They only tallied four hits, and didn’t score a run. The defense was disappointing as well, although Lester believes it was “just something that happens.”
Tuttle, who leads the team with a .356 batting average, had a quality doubleheader, recording three hits and a walk to continue his recent streak of success.
“I’ve been feeling really good,” said Tuttle. “I feel like I’m seeing the ball really well, I just made some mental adjustments and it’s been helping a lot.”
The Scouts are now 9-27, and have lost 23 of their last 26 games, including 10 in a row. Playoffs are out of the question, as they only have six games left in the season. However, the ultimate goal of the season was for the players to improve, and both Tuttle and Lester believe they have done just that.
They have also grown very close as a team, something that is bittersweet to everyone.
“The last night will be tough for some of these guys,” Lester said. “Never again will we all be in this setting.”