CPL: Blowfish swim by HiToms, 4-2
Playing its third consecutive game against the Columbia Blowfish Monday, the HiToms dropped a second straight decision, 4-2.
Columbia did all of its scoring in the first three innings facing starter Brody Koerner. Reliever James Lively came on in the fourth and shut down the Blowfish the rest of the way, but the HiToms did not have enough quality swings left to completely reel in the Fish.
“We didn’t hit with guys on base — two-out hits,” said head coach Zach Brown. “We had a big swing late that I felt got us within striking distance, but their closer came in and did a good job.”
Koerner caught a tough break in the first inning on a hit to the outfield. With a runner on first, Dylan Kelly knocked a single to right field. Jared Allen came up firing on the play to try and throw out Eros Modena at third. His toss sailed over the head of third baseman Cameron Cecil, giving Modena an easy passage the final 90 feet.
Striking out the next four he faced, Koerner was in a groove and had two outs with none on in the second. The Blowfish used some two-out hitting to turn a lifeless inning into two runs.
Brandon Mitchell doubled and high-stepped his way over Domineke Albert’s tag at home on Jake Welch’s single to left. Michael Wilson was the next man up and he double to center to make it 3-0.
Columbia added a run in the third which would be Koerner’s last frame of the night.
Lively came out for the fourth and finished off the evening on the rubber, going six innings with two strikeouts and two hits.
“The bullpen has been very good,” Brown said. “Our starting pitching has to get five innings. When we get quality starts, I feel like we’re going to win. If you give up four runs in three innings, you’re battling back and you’re hitting — it’s not going to be there every night.”
Thomasville struggled to find any kind of rhythm against Zack Russell-Myers. The righty made it look easy striking out nine and walking none in seven innings. His one run allowed came in the fourth. Robbie Streett singled and was sacrificed over. A bloop single just behind the second base bag by Andrew Cox brought him in.
With the exception of a long home run off the netting in right field by Dykota Spiess, the HiToms got little offensive production.
“I think the off days and the rain not letting us take batting practice got them out of their groove a little bit,” said Brown. “But I am not worried about it. It is still early.”
Cox went 3-for-4 for the Tommies, who fall two games below .500 at 4-6. The Blowfish are now 6-4.