Defensive mistakes ruined the game for the Mid-Missouri Mavericks on Friday.
As a result, the Mavericks lost 10-4 to the Rockford River Hawks 10-4 at Taylor Stadium. The Mavericks (5-29) committed a number of passed balls and wild pitches.
“We just make mistakes,” the Mavericks manager Jim Gentile said. “You can’t win in that way. You can't make errors. You get to play tight baseball, tight defense.”
In the fifth inning, after Aaron McEachran’s tie-breaking solo home run, Richard Austin singled, stole second and advanced to third on the Mavericks catcher Matt Oakes’ wild throw. Then, he reached home on a passed ball to give the River Hawks a 6-4 lead. McEachran went for 3-for-5 with three runs.
In the sixth, Schutt Doug, who led off with a double, reached home to make the game 7-4 when Rico Santana made a sacrifice bunt and the Mavericks reliever Greg Russbell threw wide to first. Santana advanced to third on Olmo Rosario’s sacrifice bunt and scored a run on Greg Russell’s wild pitch to extend the lead to 8-4. Russell pitched for 2 1-3 innings and gave up two runs.
In the eighth, Austin scored again on the Mavericks' third pitcher Blake Wyatt’s passed ball to make the game 10-4. McEachran, who led off with a double, reached home on Austin’s single.
The Mavericks, though, had a good start in the game. After two consecutive singles, Blake Blasé hit a homerun off the River Hawks’ starter Adam Palmer (1-3) to give the Mavericks 3-0 lead in the first. Blasé had another home run over the left field fence in the fourth to have all the runs the Mavericks had and tie the game at 4. Palmer earned his first win of the season, pitching seven innings and allowing six hits.
“We need eight guys to swing like that, and we would be in first place,” Gentile said.
The River Hawks (21-13) responded quickly to tie the game. In the second, after Kevin Ciarrachi hit a single, he advanced to third on two wild pitches by Mavericks starter Steve Soja. Then, Soja struck out Ben Fjelland, but catcher Matt Oakes passed the ball, allowing Ciarrachi to reach home and Fjelland to advance to first. Fjelland scored on Vaughn Kiley’s triple to 3-2.and Kiley reach home on Schutt Doug’s single to tie the game at 3.
Steve Soja (1-2) pitched for 4 2-3 innings, giving up six runs and seven hits.