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Hays Eagles beat Monarchs

Published on -7/4/2012, 6:36 AM

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The Hays Monarchs quickly found out small mistakes can balloon into big problems Tuesday at Larks Park.

If the Monarchs would have made a simple pickoff play in the first inning or caught a fly ball in the second inning, then the game might have been a tight one.

Instead, the Hays Senior Legion Eagles (29-4) walked away with a 10-2 victory, sweeping the three-game crosstown series against the Monarchs (9-6).

"We are a lot better team than the scoreboard showed," Monarchs coach Dustin Schumacher said. "We are two plays away from a really good ballgame, but that's just baseball. That's how it goes. It could have gotten a lot uglier, but we didn't give up."

It got ugly quickly in the first inning after a pretty bright start for the Monarchs.

Pitcher Pierce Schippers induced two groundouts with his first two pitches of the game, but then the Eagles' bats got hot. Schippers allowed seven consecutive hits, which included the Eagles' first home run at Larks Park this season.

However, Schumacher said the damage could have been undone if the Monarchs would have made a routine play.

Eagles shortstop Austin Unrein got the first hit of the game and led off first, and Schippers made the throw to pick him off.

Seeing he couldn't make it back to first in time, Unrein booked it for second. First baseman Ryan Schippers could have made the throw to catch Unrein in a rundown, but instead, he dropped the ball, allowing Unrein to make it to second safely.

Then, as Schumacher said, "the floodgates opened," and the Eagles took a commanding 7-0 lead.

"It was just single after single, and we kept thinking, 'Well, we'll get the next guy' and it never happened," Schumacher said.

In the second inning, the Monarchs committed another error with two outs, which resulted in another run. From then on out, the Monarchs didn't make another defensive miscue, and the teams each scored two runs apiece in the next seven innings.

But for the Monarchs, the damage was already done.

"They are a good team, and they held us in check the rest of the way," Eagles coach Brad Kelly said.

Pierce Schippers (1-1) received the loss after lasting just 2/3 of an inning. He gave up seven runs (none earned), eight hits and a walk.

Eagles pitcher Taylor Renz relieved Casey Sedbrook after his team had a healthy 8-0 lead with one out in the fourth. Renz (1-1) lasted 4 2/3 innings and allowed two runs, six hits and two walks while striking out five.

Renz had to shake off a little rust, considering he hadn't pitched since June 2, but nevertheless, he got his first victory of the season.

"I told him today if we got out to a lead that I would use him, and he came in and did a great job," Kelly said. "He threw strikes and got outs. I am proud of him."

The Eagles' bottom of the order dominated Tuesday, as the batters in the seven through nine holes comprised 10 of the team's 18 hits in the game.

Left fielder Zack Legleiter finished 4 of 5 with a run scored and two RBIs, first baseman Trevor Henningsen was 3 of 4 with a run scored and an RBI and center fielder Dan Bittel finished 3 of 5 with a run scored.

Kelly said he wasn't surprised by their performances. On other teams, He said they probably would be some of the best hitters.

"Personally, I don't really feel like we are weak anywhere in our lineup," Kelly said. "Any of those guys are capable of getting hits, and most of our guys are capable of putting it over the fence if they get a good swing on it. "

Batting sixth, catcher Jarrett Sanders hit just 1 of 4, but his one hit was a big one, blasting a three-RBI homer over the left field wall — his team's first homer at home this season.

"I knew I had good contact and a good swing on it," Sanders said.

The Monarchs had opportunities to score runs, but they failed to take advantage and left 11 runners stranded.

Shane Zimmerman and Bryan Brungardt were the only Monarchs to have multi-hit games, finishing 3 of 4 and 2 of 5, respectively, and Pierce Schippers had the only extra-base hit, recording a double in the seventh inning.

Schumacher said the loss boiled down to simple mistakes.

"One play can lead to something like that," Schumacher said. "If you don't make the play, it leaves opportunities. They've got a really nice team, and good teams take advantage of mistakes. And boy, when we made them, they took advantage and made us pay."
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