"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eagles score well but come up shy

The end of baseball season is a signal we're coming down the home stretch of summer. The 2011 season ended too early in the eyes of Morris Eagles baseball fans.
The Morris town team had a forgettable Saturday, Aug. 6, as it was dealt two losses and had the curtain come down on its season.
Wheaton was the site for Region 9C play. The 9C affair was unfriendly for the Eagles, first against Rosen and then Montevideo.
Please click on the link below to see a set of Morris Eagles photos (on Flickr) taken by yours truly (B.W.) this past summer. Sorry, I only attended two games but I got enough shots for a decent album.
When the Flickr page comes up, you can either click on the individual thumbnail photos to see a larger version, or try the "slideshow" feature (neat).

Let's reflect: The Eagles plunged into 2011 with a new roster and a need to establish just the right chemistry. There were bumps in the road early in the summer. There were bumps at the very end too, but in between there was a stretch of quite special memories.
That desired chemistry came around, to be sure. The Eagles won nine of their last ten regular season games.
If only they could have parlayed that success into 9C play. But it wasn't to be on Saturday, Aug. 6, at the home of the world's largest mallard: Wheaton.
Morris fell to the Rosen Express 11-8.
Cole Riley did his part trying to lift the Eagles' fortunes in a winning direction. Cole came to bat in the sixth with the table set nicely for him by a couple of Rosen errors. Cole hit a majestic home run to left-center, plating three runs.
The blast was good for cutting Morris' scoreboard deficit to two runs (9-7). Unfortunately Morris had a problem with errors in this game, just like Rosen. The line scores show each team with four errors.
Rosen outhit the Eagles 12-8.
Rosen crept forward with an unearned run in the top of the ninth. Cole Riley went back to work for Morris, connecting for another homer. But there were no baserunners on.
Again the scoreboard deficit was two runs. There was promise after that as Morris got the go-ahead run to the plate with two outs.
Up to bat came lefty Craig Knochenmus. Knochenmus had no trouble making good contact but he hit the ball right at someone. He lined out to the shortstop and this game was over.
Had Morris won this game, it would have been remembered as a special showcase for the "young guys" on the Morris roster. The prep seniors and Legion athletes were standouts with power bats.
Eric Riley hit a solo home run to center in the second. Ryan Beyer connected for a solo round-tripper in the fourth.
The Eagles needed more runners on base for their power blasts. They also needed to put the lid on Rosen's offense a little better.
A draftee from Appleton, Kyle Sachs, was the Morris starting pitcher. It was a rough outing for Kyle as he allowed eight runs, seven earned, in four innings.
Nathan Gades pitched the other five innings and he had things more under control. Nathan gave up two runs, one earned, and fanned four batters.
Rosen struck with a huge seven-run fifth inning. The Express used bunts effectively. Seven of their game-total 12 hits came in the fifth.
The Eagles tried to regroup to face Monte in their second game of the day. They failed to regroup as they committed six errors in a disappointing 11-8 loss to the Montevideo Spartans.
Yes, the score was almost identical to the Rosen game.
It was a "sloppy loss," spokesman Matthew Carrington said.
There were hopes early-on as Morris led 3-1 at the end of the first inning. Ryan Beyer, Craig Knochenmus and Eric Riley picked up RBIs in the first, Beyer with a double that landed barely fair.
Monte just couldn't be held down. The Spartans rallied for two runs in the second, five in the fourth and three in the fifth. Ouch.
Monte led 8-3 going into the bottom of the fourth but Morris was determined not to be down for the count.
Specifically it was Ryan Beyer making a statement. Beyer tore into a Monte delivery and achieved a grand slam home run! So the score is now 8-7.
But alas, this just wasn't Morris' day. The Spartans' three runs in the top of the fifth were all unearned. That episode "sealed the Eagles' fate," Carrington bemoaned.
Carrington delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. The tying run was at the plate - the same situation as in the Rosen game - but the final batter struck out.
After all that offense, the Eagles just couldn't scratch out a win on this day.
Eric Riley took the pitching loss. He and Carrington each pitched four innings.
Craig Knochenmus pitched the ninth and he got all three outs via strikeout.
Looking at the boxscore, Beyer certainly delivered the way the No. 3 battter in the order is expected. He had three hits in five at-bats, scored two runs and drove in five.
Ross Haugen and Chris Boettcher were the other Eagles with multiple-hit games.
Morris outhit Monte 11-10. But Monte had just one error compared to that glaring total of six for Morris.
The final Morris won-lost record for 2011 is 12-10.
"See you next year!" Carrington enthusiastically says.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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