The Bowman Field scoreboard looked like a maze, maybe even a connect-the-dots game gone terribly wrong. Orange crooked numbers littered 10 of the 18 spaces to list the runs scored.
Williamsport's linescore alone sported tallies in seven of the nine innings played against Batavia Saturday night. It just wasn't enough.
The Crosscutters committed four errors last night three by second baseman Tyler Greene to extend innings that should have ended before the Muckdogs really got started. Williamsport rallied late, but stranded the tying run on second base in the bottom of the ninth inning in a wild affair, a 12-11 loss to Batavia. The Muckdogs swept the series and are just a game behind Auburn in the Pinckney Division after Saturday's win.
"We hit the ball well," Cutters manager Andy Tracy said. "We played situational baseball. They took the lead and we came back and didn't give up. We pitched pretty well. We just didn't catch the ball."
Josh Warner was the hard-luck loser after allowing eight runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched, but just three of those runs were earned. The Australian right-hander threw a stellar game, but didn't get the support he needed defensively.
With one out and runners on first and second, he induced a ground ball to first base, but Chris Serritella's throw to second base went wide and into left field allowing one run to score. Warner then got a tailor-made double play ball to second base which went through the legs of Greene. Instead of ending the inning with a double play, another run scored on the error.
Patrick Wisdom, a supplemental first-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals this year, doubled to drive in another run and David Popkins added a sacrifice fly for another run, giving Batavia a 4-3 lead.
With Williamsport leading 6-4 in the sixth inning, Greene committed two errors on one play, first failing to cleanly catch a line drive that should have been a double play ball, then hitting the runner with the ball as he tried to throw out the runner going to third. Batavia scored two runs on the play, an eventually sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, scoring four more times for a 10-6 lead.
"Warner pitched outstanding," said Serritella, who was 4 for 5 at the plate. "Defensively we just had a rough night. Story of the game right now."
"We gave a team, arguably one of the best teams in the league, an older team, four or five outs an inning," Tracy said. "You can't do that with a lineup like they have."
It wasn't enough to knock Williamsport out of the game. The offense got started early scoring two runs on a two-out, two-run single from Mitch Walding in the first inning and never slowing down. The Cutters added another in the second on a Greene sacrifice fly, and one more in the third on a two-out RBI double from Larry Green Jr.
Roman Quinn even got in on the part with his first career home run, a missile down the right-field line. Quinn, whose only other home run this year was an inside-the-park home run in the New York-Penn League All-Star game, hit the bullet from the left side of the plate where he's got his average up to nearly .260. Quinn is in his first year as a switch-hitter and hitting left-handed.
"I'm just getting good pitches to hit and I put a good swing on it," Quinn said. "It's surprising power. It surprised me. It's part of the game that's starting to develop. I knew I always had good bat speed on that side, and obviously bat speed creates power."
"The kid's getting better in front of everyone's eyes here at Williamsport. I hope they realize how special he is," Tracy said. "I think he's starting to learn his swing. I think he's starting to learn and jump on pitches to hit with some power."
Batavia extended its lead with two runs in the seventh off of Jordan Guth, one on a mammoth solo home run for David Washington, and another on an RBI double for Kolby Byrd.
Williamsport chipped away with two more on a two-out, two-run single from Chace Numata in the seventh inning. Eight of Williamsport's 11 runs last night were scored with two outs.
Numata came up again in the ninth as the tying run and hit a sacrifice fly to score Larry Greene Jr. Logan Moore followed with an RBI double, but pinch-hitter Kevin Quaranto struck out with two outs and Moore representing the tying run on second base.
"It shows we have a little fight in us, I think," Serritella said. "Even the last inning we did a good job to come back. The whole night we really fought and it was a character-builder."