May 19, 2011
Homer miscues help out Mexico
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Mexico second baseman C. J. Loomis can’t handle the throw as Zephan Kash of Homer Central slides in safely with a steal Wednesday. Visiting Mexico beat the Trojans 6-4.
If you give the other team enough chances, there’s a good chance you will lose.
Such was the case Wednesday afternoon as five errors, four walks and two hit batters gave visiting Mexico enough ammunition to post a 6-4 OHSL Freedom Division victory over Homer Central.
The Trojans stumble to 10-2 in division play, 11-3 overall. Mexico evens its record at 6-6, 8-8 overall.
“We are lucky we kept it as close as we did,” Homer coach Robert Nasiatka said. “We played one of our worst games defensively and still only lost by only.
“Early in the year I said the only thing that can beat us is ourselves and that is the situation in all three losses,” he continued. “Errors and walks are our Achilles heel.”
Homer’s troubles started in the first inning when lead-off batter Bryan Ross was hit by a Payten Boice pitch. With one out, John Beck was then hit by a pitch. After a ground out moved the runners to second and third, Dominic Veiga (2-for-4) singled the runners home for a 2-0 lead. The Tigers added a run in the second on a two-out walk to Ross and double by Ed Tagliareni.
Homer got its first run in the bottom of the third inning. Tyler Simonetta led off with a single. After moving to second on a wld pitch, Simonetta scored on a single by Zach Blanden.
The Tigers scored unearned runs in the fourth and fifth innings for a 5-1 cushion, but the Trojans got two of those runs back in the bottom of the fifth. Simonetta was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. An error on the shortstop allowed Simonetta to score and Blanden went to second. With one out, Zephan Kash (2-for-4) singled home Blanden as Homer narrowed the deficit to 5-3.
Mexico got its final run when Ross led off the sixth inning with a double. He would score on a pair of ground outs.
Homer tried to rally. Jake Casey got a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth inning and scored on a Tigers error to narrow the gap to 6-4.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kash got a one-out single, but was thrown out a second base trying to stretch the hit into a double. Andy Parker (2-for-4) followed with a double, but was left stranded there when the final out was recorded.
Beck went the distance for the Tigers, scattering nine hits with the one hit batter and one walk.
“Beck pitched a gem for them,” said Nasiatka. “I really thought we would get to him since we hit him hard just a week ago. He showed great command of all of his pitches and I have to tip my hat to him.”
The Trojans were 9-3 winners at Mexico last week.
In addition to two-hit efforts by Kash and Parker, Brent Quinlan was 2-for-3. Boice tossed the first four innings before yielding to Quinlan in the fifth. Blanden pitched the sixth and seventh innings.
“Payten struggled at first, but only gave up a couple of hits,” Nasiatka stated. “Quinlan came in and did very well but an error cost him a run as well. Blanden pitched the last two and really looked good only giving up one run.
“Zephan and Andy stayed hot at the plate with two hits each,” he added.
Homer will need to have a short memory at the Trojans travel to Chittenango this afternoon for an important 4:30 Freedom American Division contest.
“It’s time to put this game behind us and get to work,” Nasiatka said. “Our task is simple. We beat Chittenango tonight and we win our league.”
The Trojans return home to close out the regular season with games against Bishop Ludden Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Phoenix Saturday at 11 a.m.
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