Chargers ace too much
With his team holding a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Santa Fe Trail baseball coach Brent Mumford pulled game one-starter Rob Musgrave and replaced him with senior Jay Shively.
Considering that Musgrave had struck out 12 Wildcat batters in five innings and thrown just 86 pitches, it might be reasonable to think Mumford was making a mistake. Was he putting De Soto in position to rally?
The answer to both questions was no. The Charger coach was just displaying the reality of how good a pitching staff he had. He could replace a starter who signed to pitch for Wichita State and not skip a beat.
Despite the pitch-by-committee method Mumford employs, the Chargers used four pitchers in the doubleheader. De Soto baseball coach Steve Deghand saved most of his praise for Musgrave.
"He is the best pitcher we'll face all year," he said of the overpowering lefty. "Give him all of the credit in the world, he got the job done. Wichita State doesn't take just any old pitcher -- they get the best of the best. Their whole pitching staff is tremendous."
Musgrave, who still had a no-hitter going when he entered the fifth inning, should have finished the night that way.Had it not been for catcher Ryan Griffin dropping a third strike for the third out, Chargers would have been out of the inning, and Musgrave would have preserved his no-hitter.
Musgrave was able to collect himself, and in the process he collected his fourth strike out in the same inning, ending the threat.
Wildcat senior speedster Jesse Smith beat out the play at first, following Griffin's gaff, stole second. After reaching third on a throwing error, Smith then scored when Sean Karashin rained on Musgrave's parade by ripping a stand-up double down the first base line that scored Smith.
It was the only run the Wildcats mustered in the seven-inning game.
Shively came in and faced just seven De Soto batters in the final two innings, preserving the first game 5-1 win of the doubleheader. He needed 30 pitches, and struck out four Wildcats of his own.
Santa Fe Trail opened up a 2-0 lead after an inning of play by getting back-to-back-to-back two-out hits. Musgrave started the inning off by stroking a two-out stand-up double to deep left center field.
Shively sent the first pitch down the third base line for an infield single that put runners on the corners. Sophomore Curtis Musgrave then ripped a two-strike single, scoring Musgrave and Jay Shively.
The Chargers scored a couple of runs again in the sixth inning when Musgrave opened the inning with a lead-off single down the first base line.
Griffin put runners at the corners when he muscled a two-out 1-0 pitch past Wildcat starting pitcher Taylor Burnett, who slipped and fell while trying to make the play.
A stand-up double to deep left field by Justin Collins that rolled up against the fence scored Musgrave and Griffin, pushing the score to 4-1.
Santa Fe Trail finished the scoring in the opening game by tallying a run in the seventh frame. Brian Shively led off the inning with a single to right center field. Todd Fannin then scored Shively when he reached safely on a throwing error. Shively came home on the play at first.
Taylor Burnett started the opening game for De Soto and gave up just four earned runs in six-plus innings of work. He struck out six batters and walked just two while giving up seven hits.
Hunter Noe pitched for De Soto in the nightcap and gave up four runs in the first two innings, putting De Soto in a hole right out of the gate.
But he was nearly perfect from the third through the fifth innings and scattered just four hits during that time frame. Noe struck out two batters during the scoreless streak and didn't walk any.
He did, however, give up three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and two more in the seventh in the 9-1 loss.
De Soto scored its lone run of the second game in the bottom of the second inning when Burnett led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. He advanced to second and third when the Chargers tried to get him out at third and threw the ball away.
Burnett came home when Matt Lowe grounded out to the pitcher, for the second out of the inning.
One area the Wildcats were successful at against the Chargers was stealing bases. With the lack of base runners, Deghand decided he had to be aggressive on the base pads. De Soto was successful on all seven base stealing attempts.
"We weren't putting the ball in play, so I felt we needed to take some chances," the coach said. "Ever since I was stealing bases, I liked going against lefties. We were able to steal bases at will against them by going on first movement."
The Wildcats did have five costly errors on the night, often giving the Chargers extra outs in an inning.
"We're not a super, super club," Deghand said. "When we give the other team those extra outs we really dig a hole for ourselves. We're not good enough to overcome that. They're a better ball club. They definitely took it to us."
The Wildcats split a pair of games Monday at Perry-Lecompton, bringing their record so far this season to 6-9.
The Wildcats lost the opener by a 6-5 count after De Soto starter Lowe gave up six runs in the second inning. Lowe lasted just two innings after giving up five hits and walking two batters in the first six outs.
Noe came in to relieve Lowe in the third inning and held the Kaws scoreless over the final five innings.
"He did a nice job for us," Deghand replied. "He kept us in the game and gave us a great chance to win."
Noe also had a chance to send the game into extra innings when he lined a hard shot right at the second baseman. But the Perry-Lecompton second baseman made a nice catch on the ball.
The Wildcats rallied from four run deficits twice in the second game, taking an 11-9 win over the Kaws in eight innings,
Perry scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning on three errors by the Wildcats. After the Kaws built a 5-1 advantage, De Soto clawed back to tie the game in the fourth inning.
Perry-Lecompton again bolted out by four to take a 9-5 lead. But the Wildcats came back to tie it and then finished off the Kaws in the extra inning.
Burnett climbed aboard with a lead-off single in the eighth but was thrown out at second base when Kyle Bray reached on a fielder's choice.
Bray then scored on a throwing error by Perry-Lecompton. Austin Bills was able to stroke a single to get aboard and then scored on Leif Goleman's single.
Goleman also got the complete game win. He struck out 10 batters in what was probably his best performance of the season.
Jesse Smith was the ironman for the night, as he was hit by pitchers four times. He also led the Wildcats offensively by blasting a double and a homerun. He went 2-for-3 in the double header to crawl out of a slump, but reached base six times.
De Soto, 6-9, is host of a doubleheader Thursday with Lansing. The first game is set to begin at 4 p.m.
SFT 2 -- 0 -- 0 -- 0 - 0 -- 2 -- 1 5
DHS 0 -- 0 -- 0 -- 0 -- 1 -- 0 -- 0 1
SFT 3 -- 1 -- 0 -- 0 -- 0 -- 3 -- 2 9
DHS 0 -- 1 -- 0 -- 0 -- 0 -- 0 -- 0 1
DHS 0 -- 0 -- 1 -- 1 -- 0 -- 1 -- 2 5
P-L 0 -- 6 -- 0 -- 0 -- 0 -- 0 -- 0 6
DHS 1 -- 0 -- 0 -- 4 -- 0 -- 3 -- 1 -- 2 11
P-L 5 -- 0 -- 0 -- 4 -- 0 -- 0 -- 0 -- 0 9