MOREHEAD CITY, NC June 15, 2014 – Four errors that led to some crooked innings for Gastonia hurt the Marlins on their Father’s day affair with the Grizzlies, as they dropped their tenth straight contest, this time by an 8-1 final.
The worst inning for Morehead City defensively was the third inning, which they entered trailing by just a run. Starter Sam Delaplane allowed a leadoff walk to Zach Daly, which brought the speedy Thomas Bess to the plate. Bess tapped a weak grounder to short, which Nick Lombardi booted. He attempted to shovel the ball to first after falling down, but threw it wide of the bag, allowing both runners to take an extra base, putting two in scoring position to start the inning. A hit was given on the original play, while an error—the second of the game for Lombardi to that point—was issued on the throw.
One batter later, Anthony Dimino lofted a fly ball to left, easily deep enough to score one run, but Tyler Burden threw the ball into an un-manned third base after catching it. The throw allowed Bess to go to third, and he scored when the umpire ruled that it left the playing field and went into the Marlins’ dugout.
“Any time you give a good team like that another base runner and have one less out, it makes it tough on our pitchers,” said Marlins assistant coach Curt Courtwright. “That seems to be the key of this season for us. Too many mistakes, and they add on a run here, a run there and all the sudden it’s an 8-0 lead going into the ninth. We shot ourselves in the foot.”
“Early on, errors really hurt you, because it kind of gets the tempo down in the game,” Lombardi added. “But even later on, I think we lost a little bit of focus and the game started to get out of hand.”
The Marlins allowed five more runs to score from the seventh inning on, one of which was the result of the fourth and final error of the game—a pop up to Kyle Carroll with two outs that he dropped, which was followed by an RBI single. Morehead City has now allowed 42 runs this season in the seventh inning or later.
Gastonia took an 8-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but they did not need nearly that many runs. Starting pitcher Enrique Sosa was phenomenal for Gastonia, tossing eight shutout innings and allowing just two hits while walking one and striking out nine. He had 1-2-3 innings in the first, third, fourth, fifth and seventh. It was Sosa’s first game of the season for Gastonia, and he had everything working in his favor.
“He was pretty good,” Lombardi said. “He had a slider and curveball too, so that’s a tough combo to hit. He had good command of his fastball, and he had our number tonight.”
The only hits Sosa allowed were off the bat of Luke Tewes, who singled in the second and doubled in the eighth.
Morehead City was able to put a few more hits on the board, and eventually a run, in the ninth inning off reliever Elliot Criss. Blake Graham led off the inning with a walk, and advanced to third when Johnny Caputo singled one out later. Matt Simmons then lofted a fly ball to left, scoring Graham for the Marlins’ only run of the game. It was not much, but a run on a walk and two hits came at an opportune time to at least carry some momentum into Monday’s ballgame.
“Especially for those individuals who [had the hits],” Courtwright said. “Any time you are getting some hits, scoring some runs, you are doing things right. Any time you are doing things right, your confidence goes up. I hope we get some momentum. It’s been a tough stretch here, but we just have to play one game at a time and not worry about what happened in the past. I know it’s cliché, but they just have to go out and play the way they know how to play.”
They will get that chance tomorrow night in Wilson, as the Marlins take on the Tobs at Fleming Stadium for the third time this season. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
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