Blue Sox lose in opening round of SPAMtown Challenge

Published 12:12 am Friday, June 27, 2008

Almost before the Blue Sox knew what hit them, they were in a deficit they couldn’t overcome in a 12-6 loss to the Wildcats of Chicago, Ill. in the opening round of the SPAMtown Challenge at Marcusen Park Thursday.

Austin’s ace Sean Breslin allowed eight hits and five runs in the first two innings and it only got worse as the Wildcats racked up 17 hits off of Breslin in five innings.

“That many hits off of Sean is something that I’ve never seen and hopefully I never see again,” Blue Sox manager Josh Kunze said. “Most hitters usually don’t get square against him and that speaks volume to how good of a hitting team they are. They went the other way when we pitched inside to them. They were good.”

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The Blue Sox (6-10 overall) pulled to within 5-2 when Aaron Port had a sacrifice fly and Andy Swank had a bunt single to score a run. The Blue Sox scored two more in the fifth when Breslin had a two-out, two run single to make it 9-4, but Dan Swift struck out swinging with runners on second and third to end the inning.

The Blue Sox also stranded runners on second and third in the sixth inning when Nate Johnson popped out to end the frame.

“I’m more concerned with what we were doing and we didn’t play great tonight,” Kunze said. “We would’ve beat some teams tonight, but more often than not we wouldn’t of won playing like we did tonight.”

The Blue Sox got a highlight in the top of the seventh when Swank belted a two-run homer to score Port.

“It was good to see Andy Swank rip that ball over the right field fence and it’s good to see him hit,” Kunze said.

With one loss in their pool, the Blue Sox will likely have to win on Friday and Saturday to have a chance at playing in the semifinals Sunday. Only the top team from each of the four pools will play Sunday. The Blue Sox will throw Joe Huffman Friday against Minnetonka, who won the SPAMtown Challenge title last year.

“It doesn’t get any easier, but we’ve got nothing to lose,” Kunze said. “We’ll take our chances with Joe Huffman on the mound any day of the week.”

The Blue Sox will throw Duell Higbe against Prescott, Wis. Saturday.

Wildcats 12, Blue Sox 6

Blue Sox pitching: Sean Breslin (L), 5 IP, 17 H, 10 ER; Casey Toops, 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 K

Blue Sox hitting: Nate Johnson, 0-of-3, BB, R, SB; Aaron Port, 1-of-3, RBI, BB, R; Andy Swank, 2-of-3, HR, 3 RBIs, R, BB; Sean Breslin, 1-of-4, 2 RBIs; Dan Swift, 0-of-2, BB; Pat Wolard, 0-of-4; Duell Higbe, 0-of-3, R; Casey Toops, 1-of-3, R; Joe Kroc, 1-of-2, double

Wildcats pitching: Joe Koehler (W), 6 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 4 ER, 3 K; Mat Otteman, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 K

Wildcat hitting: Rob Froio, 1-of-4; Tony Lapore, 4-of-4, RBI; Tony Testin, 2-of-4, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs; Jeff Harckinsy, 2-of-4, triple, 2 RBIs; Dan Higgins, 4-of-4, HR, double, 3 RBIs; Braden Kapteyn, 2-of-3, double, 2 RBIs; Josh Johnson, 1-of-4; Dave Norkis, 3-of-4, double, RBI; Andrew Treppel, 0-of-4