The Redlegs dropped a couple of tight contests against the defending champion Slammers on Sunday, losing 8-6 in game 1 and 2-0 in game 2. The 0-4 record marks the worst start in franchise history for the Redlegs. There’s no need for panic however, as the Redlegs tend to start slow and actually started 1-4 last season yet still ended with a 16-7 record.
Things looked great early in game 1. Jacob Robinson and Jesse Jones worked walks to start the game, and Kyle Arend then drove home a run with a base hit. Mike Hartman then brought a run home on a fielder’s choice, and later Evan Koogler (fresh off the announcement of being inducted into the MVABL Hall of Fame) drove home the innings 3rd run.
The Slammers answered with two runs in the bottom of the 1st, and then 3 more in the bottom of the 2nd to take the 5-3 lead. Camden then knotted things up in the top of the 3rd. After a walk to Chris Flaherty and a base hit by Brad Malott, Koogler delivered another RBI base hit followed by a run scoring fielder’s choice by Matt Mattice.
The Slammers weren’t done however and piled on 3 more in the bottom of the 3rd to take the 8-5 lead.
The Redlegs then turned to Evan Koogler on the mound, and he turned in quite the 2022 debut as he silenced the Slammers hitters over the final 3 2/3 innings. He would finish by allowing just 2 hits while striking out 3 and zero runs scored.
But the Slammers had a newly announced Hall of Famer up their sleeve as well, and they brought on Jeff Beall to toss the final 3 innings of the game. Camden was able to muster one run off of Beall in the top of the 7th when Jesse Jones singled and then scored on a double by Kyle Arend, but otherwise Beall was able to complete the save and preserve the 8-6 victory for the Slammers.
Fresh off the save in game 1, Beall took the mound in game 2 in opposition to the Redlegs Jesse Jones. This turned out to be a fantastic pitcher’s duel as both hurlers were absolutely dialed in. Jones held the mighty Slammer offense to just 4 hits and 2 runs while striking out 3. Any other day, that would be more than enough to secure a victory. Camden actually outhit the Slammers 5-4, but just could not push any runs across plate and ended up being blanked by Beall. Despite the strong outing, Jones took the tough luck loss. Camden’s hits were recorded by Kyle Arend, Mike Hartman (double), Brad Malott, Evan Koogler, and Eric Jameson.
Both teams played great defense, but Jones did get some noteworthy help in the 2nd and 3rd innings. In the 2nd, shortstop Brad Malott was able to track down a pop fly in right field foul territory. He made a smooth sliding catch to end the inning. Mike Hartman and Kyle Arend then teamed up to make a beautiful inning ending double play in the 3rd when Mike picked a hard-hit grounder to 3rd, stepped on 3rd base, and fired to Arend at first who made a long stretch and pick out of the dirt that left him on his back.
The Redlegs (0-4) and Stars (0-4) are set to do battle tomorrow, 5/1/22, at 1:00pm and 4:00pm at Kettering Field in Dayton.