Prep baseball: Tigers fall to Bobcats, 11-2

The Cambridge Bobcats pounded out 15 basehits and scored eight runs in the final two innings as they defeated the home standing Marietta Tigers 11-2 in an East Central Ohio League contest Monday night at Legion Field.

The Bobcats broke open a close game with a pair of runs in the sixth inning and six more in the seventh to down the Tigers for the second time in the 2012 season.

The Tigers continued to struggle offensively as they managed just four hits in the game, three of them coming in the final two innings when they plated both of their runs.

The game featured a match up of two of the top pitchers in the ECOL in Cambridge right hander Kyle Ritz and MHS southpaw Evan Sawyer.

Both pitchers pitched out of first inning trouble before Cambridge zeroed in on Sawyer in the top of the second.

Consecutive singles to lead off the inning by Quintin Fettas, Trevor Hardesty, and Dillon Sunnafrank, accompanied by a Tiger error, accounted for a pair of runs and a two-out, run scoring single by lead off batter Trevor Wilkinson gave the Bobcats a 3-0 lead.

Ritz, the son of former Detroit Tiger and Colorado Rockie pitcher Kevin Ritz, settled into a pretty good groove on the mound as he allowed just an infield single to Tiger third baseman Ben Barnas thru the first five innings.

“He (Ritz) did a nice job of keeping the Marietta kids off of the bases,” said Cambridge head coach Dave Gray. “He got a little tired their late as his pitch count was up, but he did a nice job.”

Cambridge touched up Sawyer for 10 hits on a night where he obviously did not have his best stuff, but the Tiger lefty still managed to keep his team in the game as he stranded nine Cambridge base runners in his final four innings of work.

“Evan (Sawyer) will give you everything he has got and battle you tooth and nail every time he is on the mound,” said Tiger co-head coach Jim Thrash. “He’s a battler and kept us in the game tonight.”

Thrash and co-head coach Larry Burke elected to pull Sawyer after five innings of work and Cambridge promptly scored a pair of runs off of Tiger reliever Devin Leister in the sixth.

Ritz led off the inning with a triple to the fence in left field and scored on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Cody Huffman.

Hardesty knocked in the second run of the inning with a two-out RBI single to make it 5-0.

The Tigers finally managed to dent the plate against Ritz in the bottom of the sixth when pinch hitter Corey Spanner walked, moved to second on wild pitch, and scored on a single by catcher Joe Roberts.

CHS broke things wide open in the top of the seventh off of new Tiger pitcher Steve Herron with some assistance by some less than spectacular Tiger defense. A walk and back-to-back Tiger errors loaded the bases and Huffman made the orange and black pay with a bases clearing double to left field to drive the final dagger into the hearts of the Tigers.

“The biggest disappointment tonight was that we didn’t play very well defensively,” said Thrash of his squad which committed four errors in the game. “We have been a pretty good team defensively this year but tonight was definitely not our best performance.”

The Tigers closed out the scoring with a seventh inning marker on back-to-back base hits by Sawyer and Leister.

Ritz struck out seven Tigers in his six and a third innings of work to claim the victory, while Sawyer was saddled with the loss.

The loss dropped the Tigers season mark to 9-10 and 3-6 in the ECOL, while Cambridge improved to 14-6 and 6-3 with the win.

“They (CHS) are having a really nice year and handled us pretty easily both times this year,” said Thrash. “They had our number this year and we would have liked to have given them a little more of a challenge tonight.”

The game was originally scheduled to be played at Don Schaly Stadium but was moved to Legion Field when the Marietta College Pioneers added a home game against Dennison Monday evening.

The Tigers will instead play their yearly contest on the college diamond today against Alexander at 5 p.m.