Defensive mistakes, lack of key hits prove costly for SteepleCats in loss
Photo Gallery | North Adams SteepleCats vs. Vermont Mountaineers
NORTH ADAMS -- Vermont took advantage of North Adams' sloppy fielding and inability to get key hits to defeat the SteepleCats 5-1 on Tuesday night at Joe Wolfe Field. The loss ended the SteepleCats' three-game winning streak.
The game was stopped with two outs in the eighth inning with North Adams in the middle of a potential comeback. With two outs, Zach Lucas put the 'Cats on the board with a home run to deep left field. After a J.C. Cardenas popout, Kyle Richardson reached base after being hit by a pitch and Luke Maglich walked before the game was called.
The SteepleCats hurt themselves before the rains came by stranding seven runners, including five that reached to start an inning.
"We came out a little flat," SteepleCats manager Chris Cates said. "When you get the first guy on in an inning, it's a high percentage that they're going to score. We couldn't execute when we had the opportunities."
In the field, North Adams committed three errors. Vermont scored three unearned runs as a result of the miscues. Chandler Brock scored from third base in the first inning on a passed ball. Brock scored again, this time from second base, on a wild pitch in the seventh.
The sloppiest inning in the field was the eighth, when a throw by shortstop Cardenas sailed into right field. First baseman Matthew Schmidt was in place to back up the throw, but it sailed over the head of the catcher allowing Trey Amburgey to score. The Mountaineers took a 5-0 lead on the play.
The loss drops the Cats to a game behind Laconia for fourth place in the Northern Division standings. The top four teams in each division make the NECBL playoffs. With more than half of the season complete, Cates said he doesn't feel the need for his team to play with an increased sense of urgency.
"We've been in every game that we've lost," he said. "We were down most of the game tonight, but we know we've got an opportunity to win every time we go out. We've lost some close ones and some tough games, but we know that our team's just as good as anybody in the league."
Adams native and Hoosac Valley graduate Tanner Bird pitched an inning of relief in the seventh. He walked one, but did not allow an earned run or a hit.
Vermont 102 000 11--5 6 0
N. Adams 000 000 01--1 6 3
Daniel Koger (7) Dalton Goss (2/3) and Trey West. Ed Voyles (4), Issac Lippert (2), Tanner Bird (1), Nathan Foriest (1) and Michael Saia. W -- Koger. L -- Voyles. 2B -- Vermont 2 (Chandler Brock, Ben Hall); North Adams 1 (Zach Lucas). HR -- North Adams 1 (Lucas).
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