REDS ENDURE BAD LUCK, WEATHER FOR 5-4 WEEK
By J. Levi Burnfin, Courier Sports
Published: Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
For the second week in a row, some bad luck has cost the Glasgow Reds. Last week, a couple of rainouts cost the Reds a much higher placing in the Delaney Tournament in Williston. This week, in the Lewistown Tournament on June 21-23, a couple instances of bad luck during a game cost the reds a couple wins against very good teams.
The Reds took on three of the absolute best legion teams in the state in the tournament and it was scheduled to be a good measuring stick for the Reds and where they are at thus far in the season.
Even though the Reds went 1-3 in the tournament, it was still encouraging for the Reds, according to Head Coach Jack Sprague. All three games they lost could have gone either way had a couple of things broke differently as all three losses were by one run.
"They were heartbreaking to lose three in a row by one run," said Sprague.
In the first pool game for the Reds, they took on the Billings Blue Jays, who they split a pair of games with earlier this season.
The Reds and Blue Jays swapped punches the entire game as the Jays led 4-3 through five innings. In the top of the sixth, the Reds were able to score a pair of runs off four consecutive singles to take the lead 5-4.
After the Jays' lead-off hitter reached on single in the bottom of the sixth, a pair of Reds' errors cost the Reds two runs and the game.
"The wheels fell off and we just panicked," said Sprague, describing the two errors that led to the go-ahead runs for the Jays.
The game was called after six innings because of darkness. Johnathen Koessl, who relieved starter Wacy Ortman, was given the loss.
In the second game of pool play, the Reds faced the Gallatin Valley Outlaws. The Outlaws jumped out to the early lead with two runs in the first off starter Andy Gardner. But Garnder settled in after that and did not allow another run for the next four innings.
The Reds tied the score at 2-2 after scoring a run in the fifth and sixth innings. However, a lead-off double in the bottom of the sixth for the Outlaws came around to score to give the Outlaws the lead and the win 3-2. Gardner was hung with the loss despite pitching the complete game and striking out six.
In the third and final game of pool play, the Reds possibly had the most heartbreaking loss of the tournament as they faced the Bitterroot Red Sox. Grant Legare started the game for the Reds and was brilliant for all six innings he pitched. He allowed only one run and struck out three.
The Reds gained scored the first run of the game in the fourth as Zach Rodgers came around to score after walking. A Griffen Bengochea single drove him in. The Red Sox were able to tie it in the sixth and the Reds could not drive in the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh.
That set the table for the Red Sox in the bottom of the seventh. They only had to push across one run to win. Walt Dalbey relieved Legare as he pitched the seventh. After retiring the first batter, Dalbey walked the next Red Sox' batter. Dalbey was able to get the next batter to pop out to second but only after allowing the runner to advance to second on a passed ball.
On a 1-0 count, the Red Sox' number three hitter hit a sharp single to the outfield where and the runner on second came around to score on a very close play at the plate that Sprague thought could have gone either way. If the umpire called him out, the inning would have been over and the game would have gone to extra innings.
But the call was safe and the Reds had been swept in pool play. Three losses, all three by one run.
The Reds rebounded nicely in the seventh-place game though as they pounded the Great Falls Stallions 16-1. Robbie Henville earned the victory by throwing the five-inning complete game. He only threw 40 pitches in the entire game.
The two teams had also played before the tournament in an exhibition game where the Reds defeated the Stallions 14-3 in five innings. Blayde Sanders earned the victory in that game. The win was the first in his career.
Earlier in the week, the Reds played a four-game conference set with the Glendive Blue Devils on June 19-20. All four games were played at Glendive because of the field conditions here in Glasgow after the storm that passed through.
The Reds were still able to go 3-1 after splitting the games on Tuesday and winning both on Wednesday. Dalbey earned the win in the first game as he tossed the complete game for the 11-1 win.
Koessl received the loss in the second game after relieving Henville and giving up the walk-off single in the seventh.
In the third game of the set, Grant Legare pitched the six-inning gem as the Reds mercied the Blue Devils 11-1. Legare struck out five while only tossing 79 pitches.
Tom Leland had the best pitching performance of the year so far as he tossed a complete-game shut out for the 4-0 win. The complete-game shut out is the first the Reds have had this season. He struck out 11 batters in the process and only allowed three hits.
The week increased the Reds' overall record to 16-12 and 7-3 in the conference.
Dalbey now has a 5-1 record after losing his first game of the season. Koessl dropped his record to 1-2. Legare and Henville each increased their record to 2-2 on the season. Leland improved his record to 3-2 and Sanders got his first career victory to increase his record to 1-1. Gardner dropped his record to 1-2.
The Reds will travel to Miles City on Friday, June 29, through Sunday, July 1, for their final tournament of the season before districts.
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