Plano hits the skids after all-star break

by dentonramsey

Plano hits the skids after all-star break



 
 

The Plano Blue Sox got things started with a bang on Saturday evening, plating nine runs in the third inning to pick up a 9-4 victory in game one of a doubleheader against the Euless LoneStars at Graham Field.

Plano’s Mark Doll, the obvious ace of the Blue Sox pitching staff thus far with a mere 1.57 ERA through six games, picked up the win to move to 3-2 on the season.

In addition, Doll pitched a complete game in Plano’s seven-inning shorted game due to the scheduled doubleheader with Euless. This marks Doll’s fourth complete game of the season, currently leading the TCL.

Doll pitched seven solid innings, allowing just four runs (all earned) on 10 hits while walking three and striking out two.

The LoneStars were the first team to cross home in game one on Saturday, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning on an RBI double by Aaron Luna.

However, the Euless lead was short-lived as the Blue Sox answered the LoneStars third with nine runs of their own, taking a commanding 9-1 lead heading into the top of the fourth inning.

Plano plated their first runs of the game on a bases-clearing double by Mitchell Putman, knocking in three runs for a 3-1 Blue Sox lead with no one out.

After Trey Sperring was hit by the pitch to put runners on first and second, Plano’s Jeff Boes doubled to drive in Putman to push the Blue Sox lead to 4-1.

Drew Bias followed with an RBI single to plate Sperring and advance Boes to third base. Austin Reilly then stepped to the plate for Plano and knocked in two more runs on a single to give the Blue Sox a 7-1 lead with nobody out as Brett Manning, who had led off the third inning with a walk, smoked a single to keep the Blue Sox hit-rally going.

With Plano runners on first and second, the LoneStars opted for a pitching change as Euless starter James Gilbert was pulled for Barry Laird.

After forcing Maurice Cole to a pop-up for the first out of the inning, Skyler Stromsmoe was issued a base on balls to once again load the bases with Blue Sox with Putman once again coming to the plate.

And Putman put the ball in play, knocking in two more runs on a single to give the catcher five RBI in the inning as Plano pushed their lead to eight at 9-1 before Sperring grounded out to end the Blue Sox nine-run frame.

 
 

Plano’s nine runs in the third was all they needed to hold on for a victory with their ace on the mound, although the LoneStars forced Doll to work out of trouble in the fifth inning as Euless successfully plated three runs to cut into the Blue Sox lead, 9-4.

Doll began the fifth frame by allowing a lead-off single to Matt Willard and issuing a walk to Kenton Gedwed before picking up the first out on a pop-up to right field by Luna.

Euless’ Brandon Moss followed with an RBI double to plate a pair of runs to cut into the deficit at 9-3. Matt Vern followed form by bringing home Moss on an RBI double to make the score 9-4.

But after Vern’s double, Doll returned to near perfection, allowing three hits and no runs over the final 2.2 innings of work.

LoneStars third baseman Logan Forsythe flied out to Plano second baseman Bias as a tag was also quickly applied to nail Vern at second as well, ending the Euless threat in the fifth.

With the game one victory against the LoneStars, the Blue Sox picked up their 12th win of the season in a 10-hit, five-run victory over Euless.

The Blue Sox dropped game two of Saturday’s doubleheader with Euless, falling 6-1 as Plano starter Bill Purdy took the loss.

Plano plated the game’s first run in the first inning as Stromsmoe began the frame with a single and a steal before Ben Maitland smoked a single to bring Stromsmoe to third.

Putman followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to left field, plating Stromsmoe for an early 1-0 Blue Sox lead before Sperring hit into a double-play to end the inning.

Euless tacked on a run of their own in the top of the third inning before adding two more in the top of the fifth.

With the game deadlocked at 1-1 in the top of the fifth frame, the LoneStars doubled and tripled while driving in two runs to take a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth.

The LoneStars added another run in the top of the sixth inning after Plano starter Purdy was pulled as the Blue Sox opted for reliever Brady Glos.

Euless picked up two more runs in the seventh inning for their final five-run victory, 6-1.

Purdy pitched the game’s first 5.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking two and striking out three.

Glos pitched the game’s final 1.2 innings for Plano, surrendering two runs (both earned) on four hits while allowing two walks and striking out three.

With Saturday’s game two loss to Euless, the Blue Sox moved to 12-19 on the season.

Although a late rally made the game close, Plano’s Blue Sox dropped a two-run loss, 5-3, to the Marshals on Sunday night in McKinney.

The Marshals plated all five of their runs in the first inning off Plano starter Paul Schneider, who pitched a complete game despite absorbing the loss.

McKinney’s Matt Cavagnaro began the first inning by reaching first base on an error by Schneider. Michael Richard followed with a single. Then, Richie Tri stepped to the plate and smoked an RBI single to left field.

Although the Blue Sox should have been able to make a throw to the infield to keep the bases loaded without a run scoring, a second error by Schneider allowed Cavagnaro to score as Richard moved to third base.

Elliot Babcock followed with an RBI single to push the score to 2-0. The Marshals managed another run two batters later when Luke Salas reached on an error by Blue Sox shortstop Matt Hicks to plate McKinney’s third run of the game.

The Marshals then successfully pulled off a double steal, as Salas stole second and Babcock crossed home for a 4-0 McKinney lead.

After Joe Oliveira grounded out, Cory Wine followed with an RBI single to left center for McKinney’s final and fifth run of the frame to take a 5-0 lead heading into the second inning.

Plano finally plated a pair of runs in the seventh inning as Putman began the inning with a walk before two quick out brought Hicks to the plate for the Blue Sox.

Hicks knocked a single to left field as Putman stopped at second with Reilly coming to the plate for Plano. After Reilly reached base on a McKinney error, Putman crossed home plate to cut into the Marshals lead, 5-1.

Manning followed with an RBI single to right field as Hicks scored before Reilly was ginned down at home for the final out of the inning.

The Blue Sox picked up another run in the eighth inning to cut McKinney’s lead to just two runs before the Marshals opted for a relief pitcher (Amato) to begin the ninth inning.

After Boes was issued a base on balls, McKinney made another pitching change (Wild) with Hicks coming to the plate for Plano.

Hicks flied out to center, followed by a Bias single to put Plano runners at first and second base with Manning at the plate for the Blue Sox.

But Sunday night wasn’t a Blue one as Manning hit into an inning-ending double play as the Marshals held on for a 5-3 victory.

The Blue Sox fell 7-6 to the first place Coppell Copperheads on Monday night at Graham Field, as Plano has now dropped three consecutive decisions dating back to their 6-1 loss against Euless in Saturday’s second game of a doubleheader.

After Coppell took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, Plano plated four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead.

Cole began the fourth inning with a single before Stromsmoe laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Cole to second base.

Putman followed with an RBI single as Maitland followed suit with a single of his own before Boes was walked to load the bases with Blue Sox.

Bias then stepped to the plate and nailed a clutch-hit single to drive in two runs as Plano pushed their lead to 3-1.

Reilly followed Bias by reaching first base on an error by Coppell as Boes crossed home for a 4-1 Blue Sox lead before Trey Presswood flied out to end the inning.

But the Blue Sox lead was short-lived, very short-lived, as the Copperheads answered Plano with three runs of their own in the top of the fifth to deadlock the game at 4-4.

Clutch hitting by Coppell forced the game into a 4-4 tie before Plano starter Zachary Heard was pulled for reliever Brett Manning.

As soon as Manning entered the game for Plano, Coppell’s Todd Sepek was thrown out at second base on an attempted steal.

Plano regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning as Putman reached base on an error that plated Stromsmoe for a 5-4 Blue Sox lead.

The Blue Sox lead stood until the top of the seventh inning when Coppell plated two runs to take a 6-5 lead.

The Copperheads tacked on another run in the top of the eighth inning to push their lead to 7-5 heading into the bottom of the eighth.

Sperring got things started on the right foot for Plano, beginning the eighth inning with a double, followed by a Boes single as Sperring advanced to third base.

Bias followed with a sacrifice-fly RBI to left field as Plano cut the Coppell lead to just one run, 7-6.

However, the Blue Sox couldn’t find the clutch hit needed to tie the game or take the lead as Presswood and Cole both flied out to end the inning.

After Plano’s Mike Haddad pitched a perfect ninth inning, the Blue Sox were unable to get anything going offensively as the Copperheads set the batters down in order to end the game.

Manning took the loss for the Blue Sox, pitching two innings and allowing two runs on four hits.

Heard, who began the game for the Blue Sox, went 4.2 innings and allowed four runs on eighth hits while walking two.

Ryan Riddle picked up the win for the Copperheads, pitching the final 2.2 innings and allowing one run on four hits while walking one and striking out two.

Joseph Krebs, who started the game for Coppell, went 6.1 innings and surrendered five runs (three earned) on five hits while striking out six and walking just one.

With Monday’s loss, the Blue Sox drop to 12-21, 11.5 games behind the first place Copperheads in the TCL’s Tris Speaker Division.

The Blue Sox returned to action last night at Graham Field, taking on the Graham Roughnecks with 12 games remaining after last night’s affair.

Plano will be hosting two games later this week at Graham Field, battling the Weatherford Wranglers on Thursday beginning at 7:35 p.m. and taking on the Denton Outlaws on Friday night at 7:35 p.m.

Thursday night’s game features a “Pitch the Wranglers” promotion, as the first 100 fans through the gate will receive a TCL souvenir baseball, courtesy of Diamond Baseball, the official baseball of the Texas Collegiate League.

Friday night’s game against Denton features a Church Youth Group Night promotion, as church youth groups receive $2 admission when they bring their youth leader. On-field promotions will feature youth groups and their leaders competing.

After a brief two-game home-stand, the Blue Sox hit the road for a two-game trip.

Plano will battle the Mineral Wells Steam on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. before heading to Coppell for a rematch against the Copperheads beginning at 7:05 p.m. Sunday.

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