By Ben • Ben Schorzman • 

Mac splits first two baseball games of season

McMinnville’s first two games this week displayed exactly the ups and downs Bland was talking about. McMinnville followed up a 2-0 win Tuesday vs. Central Catholic with an 8-2 loss Wednesday vs. Liberty in which the Grizzlies left eight runners on base and six in scoring position.

“We got six guys in scoring position. That’s good,” Bland joked.

McMinnville plays at 4:30 p.m. today at Roseburg.

McMinnville had seven hits Wednesday vs. the Falcons but committed three errors and couldn’t get the timely hit when it needed it. Sophomore David Brosius was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, but he was thrown out at the plate after an overthrow at first base in the third inning.

The difference in the game, Bland said, was that Liberty capitalized when McMinnville made a mistake. The Grizzlies didn’t capitalize on Liberty’s two errors.

“They make an error and we don’t get the hit,” Bland said. “They were getting those hits after our errors. We weren’t.”

Liberty scored two runs in the top of the first inning. The leadoff batter hit a double to right field, and after starting pitcher Nick Springer struck out the second batter, the third batter in the lineup reached on an error by left fielder Christian Radke. Liberty’s next batter singled up the middle to score both runners.

Liberty scored two more runs in the fifth inning and four in the sixth. A throwing error by shortstop Blake Egli was followed by a two-RBI double.

Brosius scored McMinnville’s first run in the fifth inning on an RBI single from Adrian Uscanga, who was 2-for-4. Radke later scored in the bottom of the seventh inning on wild pitch.

“We come in with a 2-0 win, feel good,” Bland said, “and then we come out flat.”

Springer took the loss for Mac. He allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits in five innings.

Tuesday, the Grizzlies had four hits, but they didn’t need many with Gubrud dealing on the mound. Gubrud gave up two hits over seven innings and struck out eight. He didn’t walk a batter.

Kurtis Cooper was 1-for-3, Cameron Fox was 1-for-2 with a walk, and Jacob Bannister and Radke both had hits. Blake Egli and Zach Rhoads scored Mac’s two runs vs. the Rams, and Gubrud had an RBI.

The Grizzlies play today at Roseburg, which made the state semifinals last year. Mac lost 1-0 at home vs. the Indians last season but this year make the long trip south.

“It’s a good opportunity, but it’ll be tough,” Bland said.

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