Mudcats' season ends with loss

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Middle Tennessee Mudcats' summer season came to close on a low note Tuesday night, losing 13-3 to Spring Hill in the first round of the Middle Tennessee High School Baseball Summer League Tournament.

The Mudcats finished with an 11-10-1 record, playing their last five games minus most of the regular starting lineup due to the commencement of football practice at Forrest.

Strong pitcher

Bryce Oliver (19) slashes a base hit for the Mudcats in the fourth inning at Spring Hill Tuesday night. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

On Tuesday, the Mudcats ran into some stellar pitching by Spring Hill's Michael Mackezyk, who tossed five innings of one-hit ball to pick up the win for the Raiders.

Mackezyk struck out five, walked one, and hit one Mudcats' batter in the contest.

The Raiders, who lost three times this summer to Middle Tennessee, took a stranglehold on the game from the outset, scoring six times in the bottom of the first inning after Mackezyk set down the Mudcats 1-2-3 in the top of the frame.

Mudcats' catcher Austin Welty (4) grabs a throw and tries unsuccessfully to tag out Spring Hill's Josh Wilkinson (3).

Spring Hill explodes

Jordan Jent started on the hill for the Mudcats and easily recorded the first out of the game on a grounder to second base before losing the strike zone as he walked three consecutive batters.

Bryce Oliver came to the hill and was rudely greeted by Andrew Hardison, who bashed a two-run double over the right fielder's head.

Mudcats' second baseman Cain Harrison (1) throws out Spring Hill's Taylor Warrick to begin the game.

An outfield error scored Hardison and a run-scoring base hit by Rodrigo Valadez plus a two-run single by Brenon Sanders made it a six-zip contest.

The Mudcats would not respond in the top of the second, going down in order again.

Bryson Thomas delivered a two-run double in the bottom of the inning, making it an 8-0 ballgame.

Ryan Yelensky (5) knocks in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning.

Mackezyk drilled Dustin Brashear with a pitch, leading off the top of the third and Brashear took second base on a passed ball.

Cain Harrison followed with an infield single for the first hit off Mackezyk.

Mudcats score

Jarvis Lyttle (9) slings a pitch to the plate in the six inning.

A strikeout left the Mudcats' runners stranded on the corners, but Ryan Yelensky busted up the shutout with a sacrifice fly RBI that scored Brashear and Harrison also raced home on a wild throw home that went into the Spring Hill dugout, making it 8-2.

Mackezyk whiffed the next batter to end the half stanza, and in the home half of the third, the Raiders scored three more runs with the big blow coming via a two-run double by Zack Harrison.

The Mudcats did not score in the fourth and Cain Harrison came to the hill for Middle Tennessee and stopped the Raiders from crossing home.

Quiet inning

There was also no scoring in the fifth as Mackezyk ended his stint on the mound and Mudcats' lefty Lane Allen held the Raiders in check in the bottom of the inning.

Tanner Garvin knocked in a run in the top of the sixth for Middle Tennessee, who could have scored more, but left the bases juiced off Raiders lefty Matt Walton.

Spring Hill added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth and the Mudcats went down 1-2-3 in the seventh.

Austin Welty (1-3, RS, SB), Garvin (1-3, RBI), Oliver (1-3), Jalen Smith (1-2, BB), and Cain Harrison (1-2, RS, SB) all had one apiece for the Mudcats.