AMATEUR BASEBALL: Stranded by an Island
Marshall A’s drop home finale to Bird Island Bullfrogs 6-4, strand 12 baserunners in loss
By Jake Przytarski
MARSHALL — Missed opportunities at the plate for the Marshall A’s proved costly in Sunday’s Corn Belt League matchup with Bird Island as 12 baserunners were left stranded in a 6-4 loss to the Bullfrogs at Legion Field.
Reflecting on the team’s performance, Jordan Kontz identified the lack of timely hits as the main contributor to the loss.
“I think we did well. We kind of squandered some plate appearances with runners in scoring position. We had plenty of chances,” said Kontz. “Olson pitched really well, he threw strikes and did everything we asked of him. We just have to hit better with runners in scoring position and take advantage of things like that.”
The loss for Marshall–coupled with Raymond’s 17-2 victory over the Willmar Rails on Sunday–moves the A’s (10-3) into third-place behind the Rockets (10-2) and Bullfrogs (11-1) in the Corn Belt League standings.
Fast start fades
in middle innings
In a bad case of déjà vu to their recent matchup with the Milroy Yankees, the Marshall A’s found success at the plate early on in the game but were unable to sustain the fast pace in their later at bats.
The A’s scored their first two runs in the latter half of the first inning when lead off man Connor Winkelman got aboard with a single and later scored on a double by starting pitcher Zach Olson. Alex Thompson pushed the second run across in the ensuing at-bat with a single to give Marshall an early 2-0 lead.
After a scoreless second inning, Kontz connected on the team’s second of three extra-base hits on the day and later scored on a Bird Island fielding error to make it 3-0. The A’s would not score any additional runs until the sixth inning when Olson blasted a one-out RBI base hit with the bases loaded. The A’s were unable to further capitalize on the run-scoring opportunity and were held scoreless for the remainder of the game.
The Bullfrogs scored the majority of their runs in the fourth inning thanks to a six-hit burst complete with five singles and a double to plate four runs and take a 4-3 lead. An RBI single in the top of the fifth inning and a solo home run in the sixth scored Bird Island’s fifth and sixth runs to lift them to a 6-4 victory.
Taking the loss on the hill was Marshall’s Olson (3-1), who went the distance in the start giving up one earned run on 13 hits and finishing with five strikeouts.
The A’s will conclude their regular season with a matchup against the Raymond Rockets on the road on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Looking ahead, Kontz hopes to see more strong pitching performances and greater production at the plate in preparation for the Region 4C tournament.
“I think we have to keep hitting. If we can get some good performances out of our pitchers and go deep into games it’s going to help us out a lot,” said Kontz.
Bird Island 6, Marshall 4
Bird Island 000 411 000 — 6 13 3
Marshall 201 001 000 — 4 12 2
HITTING: Marshall (Winkelman 1-5, R; VanMoer 2-5; Kontz 1-4, 2B, R; Olson 2-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI; Thompson 1-5, RBI; Tomasek 2-5, 2B; Meyer 1-3; Thompson 2-3, R)
PITCHING (IP-R-ER-H-BB-SO): Marshall (Olson 9-6-1-13-1-5)