No Marshmallows on This Rocky Road
By Lance Jones
The Thunder Bay Border Cats would stake themselves a three run lead only to see it evaporate in the same inning on the way to an 8-4 loss to the Duluth Huskies. With the loss the Border Cats (11-19) have won only three of 14 games away from the friendly confines of Port Arthur Stadium. Duluth has taken over fourth place from the Cats and have won the first three games in the Battle of Highway 61.
Fourth inning offenses would provide the highlights of the game. Ramon Reynoso (Pacific), making the start for the Huskies walked Jake Engel (Dixie State) and Jordan Larson (Northern Illinois) to start the inning. Joe Jimenez then snapped his first triple of the season that plated Engel and Larson. An error by the Huskies third baseman allowed Jimenez to score on a ball put in play by Bryce Jorgenson (Minnesota-Crookston).
Errors plagued Border Cats Starter Alex Dafoe (Friends University) and the defense in the bottom half. The Border Cats third baseman would match the Huskies third baseman with an error allowing Carter Putz (Notre Dame) aboard. Then Xavier Bussey (Pensacola State) doubled home Putz. A second error by the third baseman allowed Bussey to score. Another error by the second baseman allowed Justin Moore to stay aboard on a ground ball that could have been a double play to end the inning. Christian Kirtley (UC-Santa Barbara) walked to put runners on first and second. Wade Meckler (Oregon State) with one of his four hits on the day parked a ground rule double that scored Moore. Lance Ford (Texas) slapped a single to take the lead for Duluth scoring Meckler and Kirtley.
A Ramon Enriquez (Oklahoma Baptist) double that scored Putz in the fifth chased Dafoe. Enriquez would also score in the inning to make it 7-3. Dafoe (1-2) would be charged with the loss.
Reynoso (1-0) would strike out seven over six innings of work for his first win of the season.
Thunder Bay Border Cats pitcher Jordan Jackson (Nevada-Reno) made his debut out of the bullpen. He allowed one run on one hit with one walk and a strikeout in two innings of work.
Along with his first triple, Border Cats Catcher Jimenez picked up his first double and first two runs batted in of the year. Nate Soriano (Houston Baptist) also had his first multi-hit game since June 14.
Thunder Bay will try to end the road trip on a positive note. Joe Moran (Anderson University) (2-0 1.44 ERA) takes the mound for the Cats. Mason Bryant (Texas) (0-2 5.62) who was scheduled to go in Thursday’s game for Duluth had his start pushed back to Friday’s game. The Cats are back home for the first of a six game home stand on Saturday night when the division leading Waterloo Bucks are in town.