Manatee bats go cold in pair of Sarasota Baseball Classic losses

jdill@bradenton.comMarch 27, 2014 

SARASOTA -- Manatee baseball head coach Rob Viera was pleased with the defense and the pitching.

The hitting, though, was lacking from the equation in Manatee's two Sarasota Baseball Classic games on Wednesday.

The backbreaker for the Hurricanes (8-8) was the nightcap, in which Manatee fell to Sarasota Riverview 2-1 in 10 innings at the Rams' home field at Twin Lakes Park.

"Honestly in that game right there, we just didn't hit," Viera said. "We had guys in scoring position. We had opportunities. We just didn't capitalize on them."

Riverview earned the victory in the bottom of the 10th inning when Kyle Washburn drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on an errant throw from catcher Jonathan Aragon that found its way into center field.

But the silver lining is that the mistake occurred in the Sarasota Baseball Classic and not in next month's district tournament.

Viera said his team is learning every day, and it is preparing to get better by the postseason to minimize those mistakes.

"This means nothing," Viera said. "We've got April 22nd. ... That's what matters to us. We just push them so that they understand that that can't happen in three weeks."

The issue for the Canes against Riverview was the combination of right-hander Sam Dannheisser and left-hander Matt Peters. The duo led the Rams to 10 innings of one-run ball and limited Manatee to four hits.

However, the Canes answered with Austin Mumford and Max Moneuse. That combo held Riverview to one run in nine innings, before center fielder Khalyd Cox pitched the 10th inning.

"Austin Mumford, who has been a reliever, doesn't have a lot of innings because we've had guys going six, seven innings," Viera said. "Not having a lot of innings and throw five great innings. Then Max Moneuse comes

in and it's hard for us to get him in the game, because he means so much to us at first or third (base). ... He's pretty dirty. We've got a ton of pitchers and he's such a key role to our infield, so he comes in (Wednesday) and throws three innings. It was great."

The Rams scored first, getting a double from Alex Detweiller down the right field line that was followed up with Cory Labsan's run-scoring single.

That came in the bottom of the fourth inning. Manatee answered in the sixth inning.

Nine-hole hitter Robert Rew slapped a single to left field, and Cox delivered an RBI double to left-center field to knot the score at 1-1.

That's how it stood until the 10th-inning theatrics.

But both clubs put runners in scoring position in the late innings. With Cox stranded at third base in the sixth inning and five Canes were left on base in the final three innings, while Riverview had a runner left at third base in the bottom of the seventh inning.

In Manatee's first game on Wednesday, the Canes fell 6-0 to Flanagan at the Buck O'Neil Baseball Complex.

Aragon led the team with a 2-for-3 day at the plate.

Manatee (1-2 in blue bracket pool play) returns to action Thursday in the final day of the SBC, where the Canes face Taravella in a 4:30 p.m. game at the Buck O'Neil complex.

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