Bats go silent for second night in Flashes’ defeat

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 28, 2003

St. Aloysius players Thomas Escousse, Jeremy White, Andy Wiles (11) and Alex Frisbee, clockwise from left, hang their heads during Saturday’s season-ending 4-1 playoff loss to Union at Bazinsky Field. (Melanie Duncan Thortis The Vicksburg Post)

[04/27/03]The St. Aloysius offense was exhausted in last week’s series against Ethel, and the bats never did wake up against Union.

St. Al (14-7) was eliminated from the second round of the Class 1A playoffs after dropping Game 2 of the best-of-three series to Union, 4-1, Saturday at Bazinsky Field.

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Union (21-11), which won Game 1 Friday night, 5-1, swept the series and advances to face the winner between Cathedral and Mize.

Much like the first game, St. Al committed several errors in the field and could not put together runs on offense. The Flashes managed only two runs and six hits in the series.

“We’ve been hitting the baseball against good competition all year round,” St. Al coach Joe Graves said. “We’re in the first round, and we hit the ball really well and played good baseball, then all of a sudden we just can’t get the job done.

“If you would have told me we would have come in here in two ballgames and gotten six hits in two games, I wouldn’t have believed you.”

Union’s Wes Henry kept the Flashes guessing all day Saturday with a good mix of pitches, and also helped himself with two RBI singles.

St. Al senior right fielder Charlie Amborn said Henry threw the ball slower than Jody Blount, who pitched Friday for Union.

“He had a curveball, a changeup and a fastball that probably didn’t even break 80,” Amborn said. “Everybody was just off-balance.”

Henry gave up only one run on three hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and no walks.

“(Henry) had been a little racked his last couple of starts. Today he really had all three pitches in the zone, and he was hitting his spots,” said Union coach Joey Ward.

St. Al committed five errors in the game, two of which led to Yellowjacket runs. Twice the Flashes committed an error with two outs to keep the inning alive.

“Anytime you give a team at this level extra outs, they’ll take advantage of it, and that’s what they did,” Graves said.

Alex Frisbee allowed four runs, two earned, on eight hits while striking out five and walking one in seven innings of work for St. Al.

Union jumped on the board in the top of the first when Henry singled in Blount, who had reached base on an error and stole second.

Both pitchers then controlled the game until another error in the fourth allowed Union’s Jordan Robinson to reach base. Robinson advanced to third on a single by Danny Cain, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Paul McMahan to increase Union’s lead to 2-0.

Jacob Casey then led off the fifth with a walk and a stolen base. A single by Sean Ferrell advanced Casey to third, and he was sent home by another RBI single from Henry.

Robinson followed with another single to bring in Ferrell and increase Union’s lead to 4-0.

“You’ve got to give them credit,” Graves said. “They came out and got a bunch of hits when they had people in scoring position.”

St. Al appeared on the verge of starting a comeback when Kyle Richards hit a home run over the right field wall to lead off the sixth inning, but Henry came right back and retired the next three hitters.

“I never thought about going out losing two games straight in the second round of the playoffs,” Jason Brown said.

This was the final game for seniors Amborn, Chad Cox, Brown, Frisbee and Walker Hengst.

“It doesn’t feel good,” Amborn said. “We can play ten times better than that. We just couldn’t do anything.”