At 17-14-1 and sitting comfortably in third place, the Jamestown Tarp Skunks at this point are not a real threat to miss the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League postseason.
But the team needs to start playing better.
The fourth-ranked Geneva Red Wings pounded out 13 hits, including three for extra bases, and beat the Tarp Skunks 11-0 in seven innings in West Division action Monday night at Diethrick Park.
“That was the best thing I’ve ever seen him hit,” Jamestown coach Jordan Basile said of the Red Wings. “Honestly, both teams on both sides played good defense, but they took an early lead and kept swinging it.”
With 16 games to play in the regular season, Jamestown trails first-place Utica and second-place Batavia in the West Division. The top four teams in the division qualify for the playoffs.
“It would be nice to get a couple (wins) together,” said Basil. “We’re still in third place and we feel like we’re in a good position to make the playoffs.”
Fredonia State graduate Pat Bigham was the lone bright spot for the Tarp Skunks on Monday. In his second game with the team after essentially replacing first baseman Padraig O’Shaughnessy on the roster, Bigham had two of Jamestown’s four hits in the game.
“He has experience. … The moment is not too big for him,” Basile said of Bigham, who will look to use his final year of eligibility at a new school this year. “He is used to these things. We’ll get that veteran leadership from him.”
Geneva scratched out its first run in the top of the first against Tarp Skunks starter Travis Perry. Shane Dux led off the game with a single before Nick Serce and Mike Gorham hit singles to load the bases. Perry then induced a fly out to second base that was actually bounced, but a wild pitch to Ray Ortiz at the plate scored the Red Wings’ first run.
Perry got out of the lineup with a strike.
“He just didn’t have his best stuff tonight. He fought for us as much as possible.” Basile said of Perry. ” … He always goes out there and gives us a good outing. You will have several of them as a pitcher. Tonight just wasn’t his night.”
Geneva rallied in the top of the fourth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate and picking up five hits. Ortiz hit a three-run double down the left field line and Andrew Whinney hit a two-run single to left center before getting one out in the inning. The final run scored on a bases-loaded walk to Serce.
Jamestown reliever Corey Shields escaped a bases-loaded jam when teammate Jordan King made a quick hit on Andrew McDermott’s long walk to right field to end the next inning. five.
The Red Wings took the 10-run lead they needed to tie the game with a three-run seventh inning. Shields drew a pair of solo walks before stepping up for reliever Evan Harrison. Geneva’s Jordan Jaffe greeted Harrison with a two-run triple and Ortiz followed with an RBI single to make it 11-0.
Red Wings rookie Augie Walters completed his seven-inning complete game with three straight home runs to end the game. The College of the Holy Cross product is now 5-0 on the season with a paltry 0.58 earned run average.
Bigham broke up Walters’ no-hit bid with a one-out single in the third inning and then stole second but was stranded there. In Jamestown’s fourth, Trey Zeroski and Cody Bey hit infield singles, but Walters led off the frame with a pair of strikeouts. Bigham then singled with two outs in the fifth and Mark Tucker walked with two outs in the sixth for the Tarp Skunks’ final two runners.
Jamestown will look to get back to its winning ways today when it travels to Batavia for a 7:00pm home opener against the Muckdogs.
“We haven’t really gotten to that hot streak that we necessarily hope for.” said Basil.
NOTES: Milwaukee Milkmen manager Anthony Barone threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches. Barone, who coached at Jamestown Community College and for the Jamestown Jammers during their first two years as a collegiate summer league team, is home from Wisconsin during the American Association All-Star break. … PJ Wendel, Chautauqua County Executive, served as Tarp Skunks bat “man” for the evening. … One of the biggest crowds of the season was in attendance for $2 a night.