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Depleted Capahas end up with split
After beating shut out in the opener, Plaza Tire held on for a 10-8 win in the second game.
The Plaza Tire Capahas' depth was tested on Saturday with injuries and a heavy workload limiting the team in the field and on the mound.
Plaza Tire managed a doubleheader split against Fairview Heights (Ill.) at Capaha Field, holding on for a 10-8 win in the second game after being shut out 4-0 in the opener.
Starting catcher Levi Olson, one of the Capaha's top bats coming off an all-Ohio Valley Conference season for Southeast Missouri State, was not in the lineup on Saturday after being hit by a pitch on the back of the neck Friday.
Outfielder Seth Hudson also remains sidelined by an injury he suffered while playing for Murray State this past season.
"We've got a lot of guys out with injuries," Capahas manager Jess Bolen said. "Without Levi in a doubleheader, we had to catch Shayn [Mabury] back there and he hasn't caught a game since junior college. You have to do the best you can. When guys are hurt, they're hurt.
"That's the thing with summer ball. You don't have a lot of depth."
Without some of their key bats, the Capahas (4-3) were held in check offensively in the opener. Fairview Heights starter Rob Blumberg had just one inning where he allowed more than one runner to reach base.
The Capahas loaded the bases in the bottom of the second inning down 2-0, but Scott Hubbard hit a soft fly ball in the infield which turned into a double play when Josh Ford got caught too far off first. Plaza Tire had two of its six hits in that inning.
Blumberg, who pitched for the Gateway Grizzlies of the independent Frontier League last season, struck out six and walked just one.
Plaza Tire starter Kyle Perry was plagued by two bad innings. Perry allowed three straight doubles in the first inning that brought home two runs, and he surrendered three straight hits in the fifth that brought home two more.
"I was glad Kyle Perry came back after that first inning and threw five good innings," Bolen said.
Fairview Heights' Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters combined for seven hits, including six extra basehits, and all four RBIs. Andrew Donovan led the way with three hits and two RBIs.
Offense gets going
Plaza Tire erupted for a seven-run second inning in the second game. Daryl Graham had two hits in the inning, when 12 hitters came to the plate.
Jamie McAlister, Mabury, Robby Moore, Chris Gibson and Dustin Pritchett all had RBIs in the inning. Fairview Heights helped with three errors in the second.
Gibson and Pritchett added RBIs in a three-run fifth inning, which included two more Fairview Heights errors. Plaza Tire led 10-2 after the fifth.
Capahas starter Matt Stroup exited after five innings of work. Stroup allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out two.
The Capahas put Hubbard on the mound for the start of the sixth, but following a strikeout of the first hitter, seven straight batters reached base to cut the lead to 10-7. Chad Bogenpohl allowed an RBI single to the first batter he faced, but got a double play to end the inning.
Bogenpohl finished the seventh to preserve the win.
"Bogey was supposed to start tomorrow, but I didn't want this game to get away from us," Bolen said.
Pritchett finished with three hits in the second game and had five for the day. Ford, Mabury and Gibson all added two hits apiece in the second game.
"At least we came out of it and swung the bats better the second game," Bolen said.
Plaza Tire will play another doubleheader at 1:30 p.m. today at Capaha Field against the Tradewater (Ky.) Pirates. The Capahas hope to have Olson available today and should also have reliever Josh Parham available after the left-hander threw four innings of relief on Friday.
The Pirates swept a doubleheader from the Capahas last weekend in Kentucky.