Morelanders ease past Loudenslager
There is never a good time for a team to be shorthanded. That, unfortunately, for the Morelanders was the case in its opening round game of the Region 3 American Legion regional playoff Saturday morning against Loudenslager.
The Morelanders’ roster, usually consisting of 17, was reduced to 10. The slim roster was able to overcome its short bench to move on in the winners bracket beating Loudenslager 15-6.
“It’s a little bit of a distraction,” Morelanders RuWfiHldHU Dnd SLWcKHU 7Rm Robinson said of his absent teammates. “But we knew we could win, we’ve still got a good team.”
The game did not start IDsW, Ln IDcW WKH fiUsW WwR Lnnings took nearly an hour. The Morelanders opened up 9-3 lead after batting – actually walking around – in the second and third innings. 7KH 0RUHlDndHUs SuW uS fivH runs in the second innings without putting the ball in play.
“There [weren’t] a lot of hits in [the second],”Robinson said. “A lot of walks, really at that point you got to just stay with the game.”
In building its six-run lead the Morelanders had 10 batters walked, one hit by a pitch, two errors and three hits, with all three hits coming in the third inning.
“, WKLnk WKURuJK WKRsH fiUsW couple innings we had one hit and put up six or seven runs which obviously helped us out a lot. We can’t rely on that,” Morelanders assistant manager Jeff Cavanaugh said.
The makeshift roster sKRwHd mRUH Ln WKH fiHld than it did at the plate for the Morelanders, committing four errors and missing some plays that could have been converted. Loudenslager wasn’t any better, cRmmLWWLnJ fivH HUURUs wKLlH miscuing on some routine plays as well.
“That’s not something were used to,” Cavanaugh said. “Maybe one a game.”
After the pitching combination of Eric Hernandez and Khalil Coles struggled WKURuJK WKH fiUsW WKUHH Lnnings, John Alford pitched fivH sRlLd LnnLnJs Ln UHlLHI, giving Loudenslager a shot at a comeback. Loudenslager pulled to within in four runs, but Alford ran out of gas givLnJ uS fivH Uuns Ln WKH nLnWK inning to put the game out of reach.
“They just have to be reminded because they’re not used to playing nine innings,” Cavanaugh said of his team’s early lead and extended game. “We were up 9-3 it was only the [third] inning so they just needed to keep being reminded.”
Because of rules with in American Legion baseball, this game might not be the only game the Morelanders play with a short roster. In fact if the Morelanders do not have 12 eligible players, it could jeopardize its bid to the state playoffs as well.
“[It sounds like the kids who were not here today are done for the season], but obviously we’re going to work to get them in tomorrow,” Cavanaugh said. “In the past it’s been that kids who haven’t been here can check in the next day, so that’s what we’re going to shoot for.”