Prospect League

Hoots break out of offensive slump to snap skid

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 4, 2019 12:20 am Updated: Aug. 4, 2019 12:26 am

QUINCY -- The Hannibal Hoots came into Saturday night's game having lost six straight and stuck in an offensive malaise.

No one would have known that judging by the dugout chatter or the way the Hoots swung the bats in the first inning.

Hannibal scored six runs in the first inning and 11 in the first three frames on the way to a 13-8 Prospect League victory over the Springfield Sliders at QU Stadium. The Hoots scored just seven runs during the six-game skid.

"That just felt really good to get the bats going again," Hoots third baseman Damian Yenzi said. "We finally got some offense."

Hannibal (22-35) scored two batters into the game as Kellan Murray's RBI double plated Nathan Kuhn. Yenzi and Matt Westphal had back-to-back RBI singles, and Yenzi scored on an error by the Springfield center fielder on the ball hit by Westphal for a 4-0 lead.

Joey Kalafut drove in a run on a double, and he scored on another error to make it 6-0.

Kuhn had a two-run single, and AJ Smith had a two-run double in part of a five-run third inning to push Hannibal's lead to 11-0.

As the lead grew, the Hoots' dugout became louder and more energized.

"I think we're still just competitors," Kuhn said. "We don't want to go up there and throw away at-bats or games. Winning is fun, so you might as well just keep trying to do that."

It was enough offense to hold of the Sliders the rest of the way.

Springfield (11-46) used a bases-clearing double in the fifth to cut the deficit to 12-4. An RBI double followed by a two-run homer in the eighth cut it to 12-8.

Hannibal got an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on Mark Goudy's RBI single to score Yenzi.

Hannibal finished with 15 hits. Kuhn went 4 for 6 with two runs. Murray, Westphal, Kalafut and Goudy each had two hits.

Will Conerly picked up the victory after throwing two innings of relief.

"We definitely made it interesting," Hoots manager Clayton Hicks said. "With where we are in our schedule, and we're so thin on arms, but we're still trying to compete every day. They've fought through a lot even though our record isn't where we want it to be."

The Hoots can match last season's victory total if they win the last three regular season games.

That's the focus.

"We made that goal after the all-star break to either do better or match the win total," Yenzi said. "We can still achieve that goal, so I think as a team we'd really like to achieve that and end on a high note."

Hoots 13, Sliders 8

Springfield Hannibal

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Hampton lf 5 1 1 0 Kuhn 2b 6 2 4 1

Cusumano 2b 3 2 2 1 Murray dh 6 2 2 1

File 3b 4 2 1 3 Smith lf 4 0 1 1

Arndt 1b 4 1 1 3 Strebin ss 2 1 0 0

Henneman c 5 0 1 0 Wrthngtn ss 0 0 0 0

Hottler rf 5 0 2 0 Yenzi 3b 4 2 1 1

Merchant ss 5 0 0 0 Westphal c 4 2 2 1

Hale dh 3 1 1 0 Kalafut 1b 4 2 2 0

Parnell cf 4 1 1 0 Manthey rf 3 1 1 0

Goudy cf 5 1 2 1

Totals 38 8 10 7 Totals 38 13 15 6

Springfield 000 041 030 -- 8

Hannibal 605 100 01x -- 13

E--Parnell 2, Worthington. LOB--Springfield 9, Hannibal 10. DP--Springfield 2. 2B--Cusumano, Arndt, Hennemann, Parnell, Murray, Smith, Kalafut. HR--File. HP--Strebin 2. SB--Hostettler.

IP H R ER BB SO

Springfield

Budyka L, 0-2 2 1-3 11 11 9 1 0

Martin 4 2-3 2 2 2 5 2

Arndt 1 2 0 0 1 1

Hannibal

Knox 4 4 3 3 4 4

Conerly, W 1-0 2 3 2 2 1 3

Young 2 2 3 0 1 1

Ottsen 1 1 0 0 0 1

WP--Knox, Conerly. PB--Hennemann.

HB--Budyka, Martin.

Umpires--Plate, Kyle Fecteau; Field, Brad Zerkle.

T--2:47. A--260.