PDT Sports Writer
MINFORD — On a day in which started with reflection turned to anger and frustration for the Minford Falcon baseball team Saturday.
After taking a moment of silence to remember late assistant coach Don Sanford, who passed away last month, Minford could not find enough breaks to defeat visiting Jackson in a doubleheader to open up the season for both teams. Falcons coach Tim Martin expressed his displeasure with his team after dropping both games.
“We remembered coach Sanford right off the bat because he was a big part of this,” Martin said. “For the most part, we played good in the first game. We competed every inning.
“The second game, it proved a lot to the fact that you’ve got compete every time you come out. We didn’t do that in the second game today. We were lackadaisical, period, from the word go, you’ve got to throw strikes and you’ve got to hit.”
By the time Eli Duduit became the first Minford baserunner of the afternoon when he was hit by a Brier Stanley pitch in the opener, the Ironmen were enjoying a 2-0 lead. That advantage grew to 3-0 heading into the home half of the fifth when Nate Beasley balked in Tyler Neal.
The Falcons responded in the fifth, scoring twice to cut the lead down to a single run. However, the rally ended when Levi Jenkins was picked off at second to close the frame.
Eli Daniels started off the bottom of the sixth with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Jack White, who advanced a base on a Quinten Smith single on the next pitch off Jackson reliever Zack LeMaster. After Beasley flied out, Tyler Comer flied to center and White tagged to third.
But on appeal, the umpired deemed that White left before the catch, ending Minford’s last threat of taking the first game. Although taking the loss and going the distance, Beasley proved to be a positive influence throughout.
“It’s a good sign, senior leadership, which we’ve only got two on the squad,” Martin said. “Nate competed and kept us in the ball games. That’s what you expect out of him, he’s going to have to be our workhorse this year because we’re going to have to depend on a lot of kids younger to pitch.”
The Falcons started the finale with a 2-1 lead. But Jackson came in the second and started to make its mark, scoring 12 of the next 13 runs in a span of two and a half innings. Minford did score three of the final four to avoid the mercy rule for a 14-6 final.
One reason for the offensive spurt by the Ironmen was a result of the Falcon defensive miscues. In Game 2, Minford committed six errors. The loss was pinned on Smith, who relieved Seth Jenkins after 1.1 innings of work.
The lone offensive bright spot for the Falcons came in the form of Daniels, who was 4-for-8 for the day with a double and two runs batted in.
One point Martin made was to the fact that it’s an open competition for many of the spots on the field.
“There’s some freshmen that are eager to play and they’re going to get a shot because we’re not going to deal with this,” Martin said.”
The next evaluation comes Monday when Zane Trace pays a visit for a 6 p.m. first pitch.
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.
Jackson 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 — 3 6 1
Minford 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 — 2 6 2
Jackson — Neal 2-4 (2B, R), Sexton 2-4 (2B, RBI), Parks 0-2 (BB), Spriggs 1-3 (R), Stanley 1-3 (RBI), Parana 0-1 (2 BB, SB, R).
Minford — L. Jenkins 1-3 (RBI), Duduit 0-1 (2 HBP), Daniels 2-3 (2B), Smith 1-3, Comer 1-3 (R), Joyce 1-3 (R).
W — Stanley (1-0)
L — Beasley (0-1)
S — Leach (1)
Records — Jackson 1-0; Minford 0-1.
Jackson 1 2 5 5 1 0 0 — 14 9 4
Minford 2 1 0 1 1 0 1 — 6 8 6
Jackson — Neal 1-4 (BB, RBI, 2 R), Sexton 1-3 (BB, HBP, 2 R), Abrams 1-4 (BB, 2 RBI, R), Parks 2-4 (BB, RBI), Spriggs 1-4 (BB, RBI), Stanley 0-2 (3 BB, 3 R), Cole Massie 2-3 (BB, 2 R), Stapleton 0-2 (BB, R), Parana 1-2 (2B, BB, HBP, RBI, 2 R), Malone 0-0 (BB).
Minford — L. Jenkins 1-3 (BB, SAC, SB, 2 RBI, 2 R), Mersiel 1-3 (BB, SAC, R), Daniels 2-5 (2 RBI), Smith 0-1 (BB, RBI), Beasley 0-3 (BB), Joyce 0-3 (BB, 2 SB), A. Alley 1-3 (2B, BB, 3 R), Stringer 2-3 (BB), Powell 1-3 (RBI).
W — Cole Massie (1-0)
L — Smith (0-1)
Records — Jackson 2-0; Minford 0-2.