Posted 4/05/16 (Tue)
By Jody Michael
Clay Thoreson and Trevor Hayes both bashed a pair of RBI hits -- including one each as part of a six-run fourth inning -- but the Ray baseball team was unable to overcome a three-run seventh-inning deficit by Medina-Pingree-Buchanan in a 10-9 loss to the Thunder at Washburn on Saturday afternoon in a non-region game to open the season.
Garrett Hodenfield also launched a two-run double to left as part of a 12-hit offensive onslaught by the Jays, but the six-run fourth merely erased the lead Medina had built, and the Thunder pulled away in the pivotal sixth and seventh.
The Jays were sharp early: Hatley Nelson singled and scored on a Kadan Olson sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first, and starter Hayes got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second with a strikeout, fly out and tag of the runner advancing from third.
But things turned dicey in the top of the third with Chad Weyrauch on the mound. The first seven Medina hitters reached base, and an error by second baseman Lane Veach, a two-run double and two more RBI hits gave the Thunder a 5-1 lead.
The floodgates remained open for the Thunder in the top of the fourth, as they followed with two more runs in an effort to put the game out of reach.
Down by six runs, the Jays got a breath of new life in the bottom of the fourth. Hodenfield led off with an infield single, and following a Bunker Hill single, Hayes punched an RBI double to right.
After Hayes’ double, Thoreson, Olson and Weyrauch each batted in a run prior to Hodenfield’s game-tying double. The Thunder coach then put in a new pitcher who promptly cooled the Jays’ bats.
Weyrauch walked the first two batters in the top of the sixth before handing the ball to Nelson, who gave up a two-run double, but the difference proved to be the run he allowed in the seventh after loading the bases with one out.
The Jays immediately rallied in the bottom of the seventh as Hodenfield and Hill notched base hits and Hayes and Thoreson scored them. Nelson came to the plate with Thoreson, Olson and Brock Viall loading the bases with two outs, but he grounded out to the pitcher to end the game.
Hodenfield led the Jays with three hits. Brady Graff went 4 for 5 with two RBIs for the Thunder.
Ray has scheduled 4:30 p.m. home games this week on Tuesday vs. Des Lacs-Burlington, Thursday vs. MLS-Glenburn-Kenmare-Bowbells and Friday vs. New Town. The Jays then visit Watford City on April 12 at 4 p.m.
Medina-Pingree-Buchanan 10, Ray 9
Medina 0 0 5 2 0 2 1 -- 10 14 2
Ray 1 0 0 6 0 0 2 -- 9 12 4
Batteries: Jeremiah Heupel, Alex Irlmeier (4) and Seth Horn; Trevor Hayes, Chad Weyrauch (3), Hatley Nelson (6) and Bunker Hill.
Home runs: None.