Mistakes plague Wells again

Published 9:18 am Monday, July 14, 2008

In their last two games, the Wells Wildcats (2-11) have played flawless baseball in 16 of the 18 innings played. Unfortunately for Wells though in the other two innings it has given up 13 runs on just six hits.

That’s how Saturday’s game against Cleveland (2-14) played out as the Wildcats split the season series with the Spiders after giving up seven runs in the eighth inning in an 11-3 loss in Wells.

“It’s hard right now to explain what the problem is, I think it’s more mental than anything,” said Wildcats head coach Dan Mclevish. “It seems like if we make one mistake, it doesn’t stop there, it snowballs and for one inning the wheels just literally come off.”

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The Spiders accounted for one of the Wildcats two wins on the year (Albert Lea the other) so it was no surprise when Wells took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when A.J. Dreyer dove into first base with an infield hit that scored Andy Tomsche from third with two outs.

With McLevish on the mound and his big breaking curveball working to perfection, the Wildcats held on to the lead until the top of the fourth. That’s when Wells committed the first of its six errors on the day that led to a 1-1 ballgame after a sacrifice fly by the Spiders Ben Bohn.

The Wildcats responded right away with a run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by DH Greg Holms that scored Dreyer who had reached second on a Cleveland error. Then in the fifth Wells continued to look good when it took a 3-1 lead on a Kevin George double to right field. Tomsche scored on the play with his second run of the day after drawing a walk earlier in the inning.

Even after the Spiders pushed three runs across the plate in the sixth the Wildcats trailed just 4-3 with only three innings remaining. But that’s when, as McLevish put it, “The wheels just literally come off.”

Cleveland sent 12 batters to the plate in the eighth, scoring seven runs on just three hits, two Wildcat errors, two walks, and two hit batters.

“We have to get over it and put a bad play on defense behind us when it happens,” McLevish said. “When we don’t you get what happened here today.”

The Wildcats continued to fight until the end though and in the bottom of the ninth had consecutive hits for the first time in the game when Chris Hansen and Eli Beckman both singled to lead off the inning. After getting runners on first and third with one out the Spiders got the next two Wildcats to fly out to end the game at 11-3.

“We are in a rebuilding year, the guys are getting better and learning what it takes to play the game,” said McLevish. “But I’ll tell you, despite our record, I am proud of this team.”

It’s that 2-11 record that McLevish hopes can work to his team’s advantage come playoff time as there will be many teams that will over look the Wildcats. That would be a big mistake if Wells can do away with that one big inning.

After finishing up the regular season on Sunday against the Cleveland Condors, the Wildcats will get another crack at the Spiders on Tuesday in the opening round of the playoffs. The game site had not been determined as of Saturday.

Cleveland 11, Wells 3

Cleveland – 000 103 070 11 8 2

Wells – 100 110 000 3 7 6

WP – Steve Schmitt 9 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 8 K, 5 BB

LP – Dan McLevish 6 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 4 K, 3 BB