Colony baseball blows out Soldotna

Posted: Sunday, May 22, 2011

The wreckage of the host Soldotna baseball team's 17-4 Northern Lights Conference loss to Colony on Saturday: Five walks, seven errors, five hit batters and a pile of broken glass.

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Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Soldotna's Max Hegge takes a swing during the Stars' 17-4 Northern Lights Conference loss against Colony on Saturday.

A foul ball off the bat of SoHi's Mitchel Daugherty in the bottom of the fifth inning smashed the back windshield of a blue Hyundai minivan parked next to Vern Gehrke Field in Soldotna.

An inning earlier, the Stars committed three errors, hit two batters and issued two walks in allowing six runs on one hit and falling behind 17-1.

"There's a saying that goes, 'When you leave ice cream out, it continues to melt,'" SoHi coach Roger Phillips said. "We were out there for half an hour that inning and it didn't get any better."

It couldn't have been worse for the Stars, who drop to 3-4 in the NLC.

Even Colony coach Jamie Mayo struggled to describe what he witnessed.

Colony needed six hits to plate 17 runs -- 13 in the fourth and fifth innings combined, when 14 of the 24 Knights who batted either walked, were plunked or reached base on an error.

"They are a good team and we knew coming into this game it was supposed to be a pretty tough game because I would say coming into this game, them and us probably had the most consistent winning streaks going," Mayo said. "They have played some pretty decent games against some pretty decent teams.

"I was a little surprised."

The contest was close through three innings as the Knights clung to a 3-1 lead.

Then SoHi's defense unraveled and starting pitcher Tyler Fritz lost command of his breaking pitches.

Josiah Covey, usually reliable with the glove, committed three errors at shortstop. Daugherty dropped a fly ball in right field. Fritz attempted a pickoff at second base only to throw the ball into the outfield.

Throw in the walks and hit batters, and the rout was on.

"You have one person have an error and leads to the second and third," Phillips said. "You always say in baseball if there's an error, the next ball is coming to you. That's what happened.

"We had a letdown and weren't mentally prepared for it. It's like we had the four-hour bus ride and not them."

The Stars found some life on offense in the bottom of the fifth.

Fritz doubled to deep left to lead it off, Covey drove Fritz in with a single to left, Mason Kanakis notched an infield single and Shane Miller drove in two runs with a drive to left.

That was as tough as it got for Colony pitcher Jonathon Boyer, who had six strikeouts, three walks and three hit batters in five innings.

"They were mentally down but came back and got some hits and drove in some runs," Phillips said. "We made him pay a little bit, but not nearly enough. Too little, too late."

Soldotna opens the NLC tournament on Thursday against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

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