Blue Sox fall to Blue Earth 5-4

Published 10:51 pm Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Blue Sox let a golden opportunity slip away in a 5-4 loss to Blue Earth at Marcusen Park Wednesday.

Austin (14-3 overall) had the bases loaded with no one out in the bottom of the eighth but couldn’t score one time. Brandon Rector grounded into a fielder’s choice, Brian Voigt hit a flare out of the infield, but Blue Earth second baseman T.J. Schmidtke made a jumping grab, and Aaron Port grounded out to end the would-be rally.

“They were giving us the run, they had the corners in. There’s only a few things that don’t work in that situation,” Blue Sox Manager Josh Kunze said. “I guess we could’ve tried the safety squeeze. But I’ll take my chances with guys like Brandon Rector and Brian Voigt with guys in scoring position.”

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The Pirates (25-5 overall) took the lead for good in the top of the eighth when Trent Sonneckson singled with one out, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a two out wild pitch.

Blue Earth tied the game at four in the seventh when Daniel Wooduff knocked in Aaron Wendt, who doubled when Aaron Port couldn’t track down a fly ball in center field with one out.

The Blue Sox’s defense hurt them in the third as well, when Joe Huffman, who took the loss despite striking out 10 in nine innings, couldn’t field a dribbler to end the third inning, allowing two runs to score on the play.

“There were several plays where we were a glove away. We just didn’t make the plays,” Kunze said. “We’ve got a little mid-season lull here and we’ve got to work through it.”

Kunze provided most of Austin’s offense as he hit a two-run homer in the second inning and scored on a two-out, two-run triple by Port in the fourth to make it 4-3 Blue Sox.

His blast came off of Blue Earth’s lefty starter Cody Hyland.

“I like to hit lefties because you can’t be fooled by the curve ball when you’re right handed. He just threw it in and it came back over the plate,” Kunze said.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

Blue Earth 1 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 5 12 1

Blue Sox 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 8 3

Blue Sox pitching: Joe Huffman (L), 9 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 HBP, 10 K

Blue Sox hitting: Aaron Port, 1-for-5, triple, 2 RBIs; Casey Toops, 0-for-3, BB; Dan Swift, 1-for-4, BB; Duell Higbe, 0-for-5; Brady Klingfus, 2-for-4, R; Josh Kunze, 2-for-2, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 R, 2 BBs; Joe Kroc, 0-for-2, 2 BBs; Brandon Rector, 0-for-4; Derek Emanuel, 1-for-2; Brian Voigt, 1-for-2, R; Mark Harber, 0-for-1

Blue Earth pitching; Cody Hyland (W), 7 2/3 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 4 ER, 1 HBP, 8 K; Lee Hodges (S), 1 1/3 IP, 1 H 0 R, 1 K

Blue Earth hitting: Cody Sukolski, 1-for-5; Tom Rasmussen, 2-for-5; T.J. Schmidtke, 2-for-5; Aaron Wendt, 3-for-4, double, RBI; Daniel Wooduff, 2-for-5, RBI; Hodges, 0-for-4; Kane Malo, 0-for-3; Trent Sonneckson, 2-for-4; Hyland, 0-for-4