Mavs’ rally falters

Wednesday, June 9, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:17 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

The hitting started too late for the Mid-Missouri Mavericks on Tuesday.

As a result, the Springfield-Ozark Ducks defeated the Mavericks 10-5 at Taylor Stadium. The Mavericks also lost the series 2-1. The Mavericks scored their first run in the eighth inning, when they trailed 9-0.

The Ducks (10-7) had 14 hits off three pitchers. Ducks starter Matt Blanton pitched strong six innings and got his second win of the season, allowing two hits.

Mavericks manager Jack Clark said the team needs to improve, and he expects individuals to hustle more.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a close game or a game like this, there’s an area we need to improve on,” Clark said. “We need to make better pitchers and we need to hit more.

“It’s tough to win the game when they (the opponents) are scoring runs like that. We are not that kind of team yet.”

Clark also said he is looking for better players, and he thinks there is a good chance of finding some because the major league’s draft finished Tuesday.

The Mavericks (2-16) started to rally in the bottom of eighth, cutting the Ducks’ lead to 9-2.

After pinch-hitter Dusty Hillman walked, he scored on Nick Saunders’ triple, which hit the center-field fence. Catcher John Oehler, who replaced Matt Oakes in the seventh, flied out to drive in Saunders.

Joe Nichols singled off reliever Tony Casoli to lead off the three-run ninth.

Lucas Taylor followed with a double. Nichols scored a run on Ray Goirigolzarri’s sacrifice fly to left field, and Taylor scored when Erik Turberville grounded out to first.

Dusty Hillman walked, stole second and scored a run on Nick Saunders’ single to left. John Oehler grounded out to second, ending the game.

In the first, with two out, Mavericks center fielder Lucas Taylor slipped, fell and could not catch Steve Hakke’s line drive, allowing Hakke to advance to third. Hakke scored a run on Todd Leather’s single off Mavericks starter Courtney Hall for a 1-0 lead.

Hall (0-1) pitched three innings, giving up four runs and five hits. Reliever Kyle Nevels threw four innings and allowed four runs and five hits

In the second, the Ducks scored twice.

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