XENIA — Every team goes through hot and cold streaks during a baseball season, according to Xenia Scouts coach Bubba Cates.
In front of a big crowd on Family Community Night at the Athletes in Action campus, the Scouts held tight until the final inning. They gave up five runs in the top of the ninth to the visiting Lake Erie Monarchs, losing 6-0 – Xenia’s third loss in a row.
“Everybody goes through streaks like that, where you get off to a good start or play well during a certain part of the schedule,” said Cates. “And everybody goes through a bit of a lull, too. We’ve not played like we’re under water or anything. But we’ve hit a little bit of a dry spell. We just can’t wait to get that out of our system. Maybe that’ll be tomorrow.”
Jacob Piechota started the game on the mound for the Monarchs (7-11) and John Crawford started for the Scouts (14-9). Neither team got a hit until the third inning when Levi Gilcrease got on base for the Scouts.
“Their guy threw a really good ball game. Our guy did, too. It’s just one of those games where you wait for somebody to break the ice,” said Cates.
Piechota almost pitched a complete game for Lake Erie. He lasted through eight innings, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out two batters. With the help of his defense behind him, the Monarchs earned their first shutout of the season. A Scout didn’t reach second base until the ninth inning.
“Jacob did a fantastic job,” said Lake Erie coach Jim DeSana. “He wanted to finish that game. He probably deserved to finish it, but he had gotten up to a pitch count that we were kind of comfortable with to remove him on.”
The game remained scoreless until the seventh inning, when Lake Erie’s Jake Shepski scored from third base on a Xenia error. It remained close until the top of the ninth, when Lake Erie, who was coming off three days without play, blew the game open with a five-run inning.
“The Scouts beat us twice earlier in the season. It was a game very similar to tonight,” said DeSana. “We finally got a little bit of timely hitting and were able to bust the game open a little bit. Any time you have that much time off, you worry about timing and rhythm. There weren’t a lot of big hits tonight. I don’t think a ball went over an outfielder’s head.”
The Monarch’s Dazon Cole was hit with the bases loaded to score Sammy Stevens from third, Kevin Sullivan hit a single to center field to bring home Jacob Britt, and Ross Haffey hit a double to score three ninth inning runners on the way to handing Xenia its biggest losing streak of the season.
“Nobody likes that. We’re not used to that,” said Cates. “We lost a tough one [Wednesday] night, and this was a tough loss because we were in shape to win the game. When you’re sitting there 0-0 you feel good about your chances, especially when you’re the home team.”
The team probably wasn’t mad for long. After a day of community events like a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and obstacle courses, families were invited to the field to watch the movie Despicable Me 2.
The teams plays again at 7:05 p.m. tonight at Flack Rock Field in Flat Rock, Mich.