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Desert Edge tagged early in 11-7 loss
Submitted by Casey Pritchard on Wed, 03/08/2017 - 12:00am
Defensive woes plaguing Scorpions in 0-4 start
It was the same old story for Desert Edge March 3, as fielding errors led to unearned runs that cost the Scorpions.
Desert Edge committed three errors, helping plate five unearned runs in an 11-7 loss to Maricopa.
“Every game has been like that,” Desert Edge coach Sean McCorry said. “Every game, we’ve gone out, scored runs and then made bad plays defensively. We’ve killed ourselves defensively, and it’s stuff we work on every day. Everything you see out there, it’s been worked on and worked on a lot, because we have guys that will go throw strikes, but we don’t have strikeout pitchers, necessarily.”
Desert Edge had three errors against Maricopa, and a miscommunication between an infielder and outfielder that allowed a ball to drop for a hit. It led to an insurance run late in the game.
The big errors happened early. A line drive was dropped at third base in the first inning, and with two outs, Maricopa’s Renzo Silva made the Scorpions pay with a three-run homerun to left field.
“That’s the thing, we’ve played [Peoria] Liberty, [Glendale] Apollo, these guys and [Gilbert] Mesquite, and every time [we make a mistake], they’ve made us pay,” McCorry said.
Despite getting behind 3-0 in the top of the first, the Scorpions rallied for four runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame, taking a 4-3 lead. With one out and two runners on, Jake Fear singled home a run, Danny Kamins blooped a double to right, making it 3-2, then Johnathan Bushee tied it with a solid single to left. Kamins eventually scored when Bushee got caught up between first and second trying to steal.
Unfortunately for Desert Edge, that would be its last lead. Maricopa’s first six batters of the second inning all scored. The Scorpions helped the Rams’ cause, making an errant throw on a bunt and missing a routine fly ball to left field. Both those runners wound up scoring.
“I bet, if you look at all the games, at least half the runs the opponent receives are unearned,” McCorry said. “It comes down to communication, the infielders not being aggressive enough, speaking up, saying I got it. Simple stuff.”
Desert Edge answered again, scoring twice in the bottom of the second to make it 9-6. Brett Miller scored on a Willie Loera triple, and two batters later, Fear singled to left to cash in Loera.
Desert Edge’s bats slowed after the second inning. The Scorpions smacked eight hits in the first two frames, but had only three the rest of the way. Despite a slow finish offensively, McCorry is still pleased with the way his team is performing overall at the plate, he said.
“I really like the way they’re swinging,” McCorry said. “The kids have been buying in. We have a machine that we crank up to the upper 80s, 90s, so they can see the ball, so that when we see hard pitching like we’ve seen the last four games, we’re on it. Our guys are scrappy, they’re doing everything they can, but it just comes down to making plays. We’ve got to make plays.”
Slow start to season
The loss dropped Desert Edge to 0-4. It lost 9-2 at Liberty, 11-4 to Apollo and 5-4 at Mesquite in eight innings.
“Mesquite, [March 2], we don’t make those [defensive] mistakes and it’s 5-4, we lose in eight innings, against probably the most physical team we’ve seen so far.”
Desert Edge committed only one error against Mesquite. The Scorpions had seven combined errors in their first two games.
Against Maricopa, Desert Edge had five different players collect two hits. Fear and Bushee each knocked in two runs, while Kamins and Miller both scored twice.
Fear took the pitching loss, allowing 10 runs, five earned, over two-plus innings of work. Matt Chavez came on in relief and pitched well. He inherited a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the third and gave up just one run, then allowed just one more run over the final four innings. Overall, he gave up five hits, struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.
“Chavez did a great job,” McCorry said. “Every opportunity he’s had, he’s done a good job. He has a tendency to walk guys, but tonight, he didn’t walk guys. He’s funky. His slider is good. Those guys [Maricopa] were dead-red fastball guys, and he was able to throw that good slider.”
Desert Edge returned to the field Tuesday at Phoenix North Canyon. The result was unavailable at press time. The Scorpions play at 3:45 p.m. Friday at Casa Grande Vista Grande.
Despite the 0-4 start, McCorry is staying positive with his team.
“I keep telling the guys, I go, ‘Guys, we’re alright.’ These games, to me, we’re not a power-point team. We don’t have the kind of arms and stuff to get in with power points. We’ve got to win the region. We’ve got to use all these games to get better. Even for me, to learn, OK, this guy can do this, this guy can’t do that.
“They’re fun. These guys work hard, they’re great kids. I love coaching them. I’m blessed to have them.”
Casey Pritchard can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @CaseyonSports.
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