MARYSVILLE – The Atchison Junior A’s picked the worst time of the season to play their worst game of the season.
With their season and a trip to the state tournament on the line, the A’s lost 6-3 to Marysville on Wednesday – a team they beat 10-2 a night earlier.
Atchison committed six errors on the night, plus three wild pitches and passed balls on a field with a lot of space behind the plate. Playing on their home field, the Marysville runners were aware of the spacious area behind the plate, and took two bases on wild pitches when the moment presented itself.
The big inning came in the top of the third. Atchison pitcher Abe Siebenmorgen had little trouble getting through the first two innings without allowing a runner. That seemed like it would continue in the third when the Marysville batter hit a weak ground ball to lead off the inning, but the A’s made an error and Marysville had its first runner.
Two walks, a couple wild pitches and a passed ball later, Marysville had three runs. Another runner reached on an error, advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored on a throwing error. Marysville scored four runs in the top of the third without recording a single hit.
In fact, Marysville only had two hits in the game, and neither came around to score. Siebenmorgen pitched all seven innings for the A’s, but only one of the six runs he allowed was an earned run.
“I don’t think they were nervous,” said Chuck Trotter, head coach. “I think they were ready for the game, but they just made mistakes, and they know it.”
Marysville didn’t make as many mistakes, though. The Marysville pitcher pounded the strike zone, forcing the A’s to make their own offense – he didn’t issue a single walk or wild pitch.
Atchison was stunned by the events that unfolded in the top of the third, but finally answered in the bottom of the fifth.
Levi Navinskey capitalized on a rare Marysville miscue, reaching first on an error. Colten Kocour followed with a single and Jack Kocour drove in Navinskey with a single. Another Marysville error allowed Colten Kocour to score, but Jack Kocour was thrown out at the plate on the same play. Still, Atchison cut Marysville’s lead in half, 4-2.
More errors hurt Atchison in the seventh, though. After getting the first out of the inning, the next two batters reached by error – the second error was a three-base mistake that allowed a run to score. A double brought in the second run to give Marysville a 6-2 lead in the final inning.
The A’s tried to rally in the bottom of the inning. Colten Kocour reached on an error and Parker Mispagel was hit by a pitch. Andrew Noll singled to right field to score Kocour, but a ground out to the pitcher ended the game and Atchison’s season.
“(The players) said, ‘We shot ourselves in the foot. We lost the game,’” Trotter said. “I told them that’s baseball and it’s a learning experience. It’s an unfortunate learning experience, but that’s what it is. Learn from it and go on.
“They’re disappointed, but they had a good year.”
The A’s finished the season with a record of 11-10. They were one win away from making a trip to the state tournament in Great Bend, with two chances to clinch their spot, but lost to Doniphan County and Marysville on Wednesday night.
A’s vs DC
Atchison’s first chance to clinch a spot in the state tournament came against Doniphan County, a team they were 0-5 against prior to Wednesday’s game.
Levi Watts took the mound for DC, just a week removed from tossing a no-hitter against Atchison. Watts sat down the A’s in order in the first, but Atchison got going in the second inning.
Siebenmorgen doubled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Colten Kocour. The A’s added to their lead in the third inning. Mispagel walked and Colby Weishaar singled. An error allowed Mispagel to score on the play and Weishaar advanced to third. A ground out by Tate Vowels scored Weishaar and Atchison had a 3-0 lead.
DC responded in the bottom of the third. Tyler Franken singled to lead off the inning, then Dawson Butts drew a walk. Both runners scored on Bryson Kirkland’s triple, then Kirkland scored on a wild pitch by Vowels to tie the game 3-3 after three innings.
Siebenmorgen singled to begin the fourth inning, stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error. Again, Doniphan responded to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Austin Bodine walked and scored on Franken’s single.
The momentum fully turned in the bottom of the fifth inning. Vowels forced the first two batters to pop out, but Doniphan used a two-out rally to score three runs and take the lead.
Clayton Rideout and Marcus Martinez drew walks and Bodine drove in Rideout with a single. Martinez scored on a wild pitch and Zeb Speer drove in Bodine to give DC a 7-4 lead.
“We were confident, then momentum changed a little bit and we had that one inning where we couldn’t get the third out,” Trotter said.
Doniphan scored three more in the sixth to push its lead to 10-4 and went on to win by the same score.
With the win, DC was named Zone 2 champions and will play in the state tournament in Great Bend next week.