Archive for Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Turner snaps Jags’ 8-game winning streak

Errors costly vs. Golden Bears, as Mill Valley falls to 8-4

April 24, 2007

It would have been a nice story. The Jaguars start the season with three straight losses and then don't lose another game.

But all fairytales come to an end, and that was the case for Mill Valley Monday afternoon. The site was CommunityAmerica Ballpark and the opponent was Turner High School. After eight straight victories, the Jaguars fell to the Bears, 6-2.

"You don't ever want a loss," MVHS coach Jeff Strickland said. "That's the old cliche that a team needs to eventually lose; I don't agree with that."

The Jaguars' glass slipper busted in the first inning when they committed two errors and gave up three runs on only two hits. The Jaguars were nearly flawless during their eight-game winning streak, committing only three errors in eight games. They committed three errors in one game against Turner.

"We might have been a little bit more laid back," senior Shawn Moore said. "We were playing here -- maybe weren't taking it quite as seriously."

Mill Valley at least opened the game focused at the plate. Senior Trey Scott and Moore hit back to back two-out RBI doubles in the first inning.

After the two doubles, the Mill Valley batters were fooled. Turner pitcher Brandon Simmons mixed cut fastballs, changeups and curveballs, which kept the Jags off-balance. The Jags had only one hit in the final six innings, a single by sophomore John Theis in the third inning.

"We just weren't hitting," Moore said. "He was throwing fastballs that weren't too hard to pick up. His curve ball was spinning, but it really wasn't breaking. I guess we were having a hard time seeing it for some reason."

Simmons nearly met his match in efficiency in Mill Valley's Scott. Scott threw a complete game, seven-hitter on only 63 pitches. The game was played in a one hour, 15 minutes.

"It was a well-played baseball game," Strickland said. "I couldn't ask any more of Trey, limiting a good-hitting team like that to seven hits. He did well."

The Bears finally got to Scott in the fourth inning. They strung together three straight, two-out hits and scored three runs, extending their lead to 6-2.

"I missed my spots," Scott said. "I got to the point where when I'm out of control, at least they are strikes; I'm not walking anybody. But against a good team like this, you can't miss your spots or they'll hit it to the fence every time."

Mill Valley's record fell to 8-4 with the loss and Turner improved to 10-2. The Jags are 4-1 in the Kaw Valley League and still have a chance at the KVL title. The loss to Turner, a non-league opponent, didn't hurt those chances, but it did end the fairytale.

Even if Strickland doesn't want to admit it, that just might be what the Jaguars needed.

"It wakes us up," Scott said. "We realize this is what we're going to see come regional time and can't get away with stuff we've been doing."

Next up, the Jags will look to run their KVL record to 5-1 when they travel to Bonner Springs on Thursday, April 26 for a doubleheader against the Braves. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

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