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Missed opportunities plague T-Bones: KC loses 4-1

07/13/2018 9:13 PM -
Three early runs by the St. Paul Saints were enough to take out the Kansas City T-Bones 4-1 on Friday night for their second straight loss. The red-hot T-Bones offense struggled with missed opportunities leaving five on base and only mustering up one run over nine innings.

The bats came alive in the third inning for the Saints, starting with a Justin O’Conner single putting a runner on first. St. Paul picked up where they left off last night as Dante Bichette Jr crushed a two-run homerun that put the Saints up 2-0. Anthony Phillips singled, Max Murphy walked to put runners at first and second with no out to extend the Saints scoring threat. After a quick put-out by Kyle Barrett, Saints left fielder Burt Reynolds came to the plate. On the third pitch of the at bat, T-Bones starting pitcher Pasquale Mazzoccoli (2-1) tossed a costly wild pitch that allowed Philips to score from third, stretching the St. Paul lead to three.

The T-Bones started to claw their way back into the game starting with a double by Noah Perio Jr. A Taylor Featherston strike out set the stage for Adrian Nieto, who struck a screamer down the right field line for a double, scoring Perio Jr. The T-Bones cut the lead to 3-1 heading to the sixth.

The Saints responded in the top of the sixth with a leadoff walk by Brady Shoemaker. Former T-Bones fan favorite, Zach Walters, continued the offensive onslaught for the Saints by hitting a single to advance Shoemaker to second. After a quick strike-out by Matt Snyder, O’Conner reached first on a walk, loading the bases with one out. Bichette Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Shoemaker. The T-Bones escaped a catastrophic inning, only allowing one run as the Saints pushed their lead to 4-1.

The T-Bones looked to even the score in the seventh and had plenty of opportunities for a big inning. A walk by Torres and a double to left center by Colin Walsh put runners at second and third with the tying run at the plate. After Perio Jr. grounded out, Featherston hit a sharply hit ball down the third base line. Torres was charging for home plate but was thrown out by the third baseman on a fielder’s choice. The next at bat, Featherston was caught stealing second to end a once-promising seventh inning. The T-Bones scored no runs and were still behind 4-1 after seven.

Mazzoccoli pitched four innings giving up three earned runs on just four hits. He is credited as the losing pitcher. Jake Matthys (4-3) pitched well, tossing a solid five innings giving up one run on three hits. Matthys is credited as the winning pitcher tonight in Kansas City.

The T-Bones lose their second straight game to the North Division first-place Saints, falling to 33-19 on the season. Kansas City now sits one game ahead of the third place Wichita Wingnuts and six games back of the first place Sioux City Explorers in the South Division. The Saints are on a tear, winning their fifth-straight game staying one game up on the resilient Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. The T-Bones look to take game three of this four-game series in Kansas City Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

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