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Saint Struggles Continue Against Galveston

 If a young Seward County Saints team thought things were
going to come easy this season after a 4-0 start to the season, they
have certainly found out otherwise upon their return from Dallas after
losing three of four to Galveston to see their record fall to 6-6 on the
year.  The Saints were whipped 10-1 in the opener and saw a late
comeback come up short in game two where they lost 7-6.  In game three
they were shutout 5-0 before hanging on to win a nail biter in the
finale 2-1. 

                Playing with metal bats for the first time this season,
the Saints took on Galveston for the first time in school history in a
four game set in a neutral stop in Dallas.  Seward pitching found out
right away that things would be different than they had been in their
first eight games of the season as starter Tyler Wiedenfeld, who had yet
to allow an earned run on the season, was tagged for a pair in the 1st
inning of game one on a two run home run from Trevor Hill to put the
Saints in a 2-0 hole before they came to bat.  Galveston added onto
their lead in the 2nd with three more runs and made it a 6-0 game in the
3rd after three straight one out singles.  The Saints could simply get
nothing going on offense.  Seward went down in order in the 2nd, 3rd,
and 4th innings and remained down 6-0 as they came to hit in the 5th.
The Saints looked like they had something going in the 5th as Deven
Nelson and Troy Owen singled in front of a walk to Brandon Rix and just
like that they had the bases loaded with nobody out.  Nelson was
inexplicably picked off of third and a groundout and a strikeout later,
Seward's threat was over without a single run.  The Whitecaps gifted the
Saints their only run of the game in the 6th with an error, a hit
batter, and a bases loaded walk, but Galveston added on four more runs
against the Seward bullpen and went on to win 10-1.  The Saints were
outhit 11-4 in the game, mustering just four singles in the loss.
Wiedenfeld was tagged with his first loss of the season, falling to 2-1
after giving up 10 hits and 6 runs in 6 innings of work. 


                It was once again the Whitecaps scoring first in game
two of the series to take an early 1-0 lead and in the 2nd Galveston
extended upon their advantage with a pair of runs to make it 3-0.
Nelson and Alex Scanlan singled to start the Saints half of the 2nd and
Nelson scored on an RBI groundout from Max Lusk to make it 3-1, but
Galveston matched that run in the 3rd to push their lead back to three
at 4-1.  Seward once again had the makings of a big inning in the bottom
of the 4th when Bryson Allen and Owen singled in front or Nelson who
doubled to make it 4-2 with runners on second and third without nobody
out.  As they did in game one, the Saints squandered their opportunity,
striking out three times in a row to end the inning and remain behind
4-2.  Galveston carried the momentum into their next at bats, tacking on
a pair of two out runs to extend their lead to 6-2 which is where the
game went into the 6th after a 1-2-3 bottom of the 5th for Seward.  A
solo home run for Hill in the 6th made it 7-2 Whitecaps, but the Saints
weren't ready to roll over just yet.  Seward got something cooking in
the bottom of the 6th with an RBI single from Nelson and an RBI
groundout from pinch hitter Reed Thompson to make it 7-4, but they left
two runners on as the inning came to a close to remain down by three
going to the 7th.  The Saints put up another fight in their final at
bats in the 7th as Allen doubled with two outs to drive home Johnny
Griffith who walked to start the inning to make it 7-5 and Nelson
followed suit with an RBI single to make it a one run game 7-6 with two
on and two out.  With the tying run on second and the winning run on
first, the Saints couldn't come through as a pop out ended Seward's
chances and the game as they fell 7-6.  Seward actually outhit Galveston
12-11 in the game, but their inability to cash in on scoring chances
cost them in the one run loss.  Nelson finished a perfect 4 for 4 with 3
RBI's in the game for the Saints while Allen was 3 for 4 and scored 3
runs, and Owen was 2 for 3 with a run scored.  Saints emergency starter
Garret Smith suffered the loss, going 4 innings and yielding 6 runs,
while Adam Guay pitched well out of the Seward bullpen, going 3 innings
and allowing just 1 run on the solo shot from Hill in the 6th. 


                The Saints didn't learn their lesson from day one as in
the 1st inning of game three on Sunday, Seward once again left the bases
loaded without scoring in their first at bats.  Starter TJ Looney gave
his offense a chance, holding the powerful Whitecaps without a run
through the first three innings, but the Seward offense continued to
sputter.  After a 1-2-3, eight pitch top of the 4th for the Saints bats,
Galveston finally took advantage, coming through with a two out bases
loaded single to score a run and make it 1-0 Whitecaps after 4.  The
Saints had two men reach in the 5th with a walk and an error, but tough
luck saw their bid to push a run across thwarted as a line drive was
speared by the Galveston defense to keep it a 1-0 game.  In the Whitecap
5th Galveston took control of the game.  A pair of singles in front of a
sac fly made it 2-0 and two more singles scored another run to make it
3-0.  Another three up three down 6th for Seward's offense quickly put
Galveston back at bat and the Whitecaps tacked on two more runs to make
it a 5-0 game as the Saints came up for their final at bats in the top
of the 7th.  This time the Saints went down without a fight as Galveston
pitching again breezed through the Seward bats 1-2-3 to end the game and
hand the Saints their fifth straight loss 5-0.  The Saints again went
without an extra base hit in the loss, managing just two singles from
Allen and Owen.  Looney took the loss for Seward, going 5 1/3 innings,
allowing 4 earned runs and strikeout out 3. 


                Going into game four with Galveston looking for the
sweep and the Saints merely looking to salvage one game, it was Seward
who scored first when Griffith walked with the bases loaded to force
home Scanlan who singled earlier in the inning to make it 1-0 in the
2nd.  Saints starter Keenan Hall kept Seward in front 1-0 into the 4th,
allowing just two baserunners, one on a walk and another on a beanball
through three innings of work.  Bret Lewis singled with two outs for the
Saints in the 4th but was promptly picked off of 1st to end the Seward
threat.  Hall cruised through the middle of the Whitecap order in the
4th, getting a groundout and a pair of fly outs to keep it a 1-0 game.
In the 5th the Saints added a run on a two out RBI single from Francisco
Bolanos to make it 2-0 and Hall continued his dominance with a 1-2-3 5th
to keep the Saints on top.  Hall gave up his first hit of the game in
the bottom of the 6th on an infield single and was lifted with two outs
in the inning as Galveston's biggest threat, Hill, stepped to the plate
with two on representing the go ahead run.  A passed ball scored one
Whitecap run and two straight hit batters loaded the bases with two outs
before lefty Hayden Howard battled out of the jam with a groundball to
get out of the mess and keep the Saints on top 2-1.  Seward couldn't add
an insurance run in the top of the 7th but they wouldn't need it as
Howard finished Galveston off with the tying run just 90 feet away in
the bottom of the inning to secure the 2-1 win and notch his first
career save in the green and white.  Hall sparkled in the win, going 5
2/3 innings, allowing just the infield single and the unearned run while
punching out 4.  Howard went 1 1/3 scoreless to earn the save.  The
Saints had 4 of the 6 hits in the game with Bolanos and Griffith picking
up the Seward RBI's in the victory. 


                The Saints drop to an even .500 at 6-6 after the series
loss.  Next up for Seward is another trip to the Lone Star State where
they will take on Odessa on Saturday in a double header and Midland on
Sunday in another twinbill. 



Roy Allen

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