Hound boys suffer sweep at Burlington

Errors plague Hounds in one-run loss in game one

Fort Madison's Aidan Mitchell almost beats out a base hit but gets tagged in the seventh inning of game 1 of the Bloodhounds' doubleheader loss to Burlington Monday night in Burlington. Fort Madison would lose the opener 8-7 and the nightcap 7-4.
Fort Madison's Aidan Mitchell almost beats out a base hit but gets tagged in the seventh inning of game 1 of the Bloodhounds' doubleheader loss to Burlington Monday night in Burlington. Fort Madison would lose the opener 8-7 and the nightcap 7-4.
Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

BURLINGTON – The Bloodhound baseball team is playing with a lot of underclassmen this year and, in Head Coach Albert Schinstock’s second year as head coach, are still learning the game and his system.
But Schinstock still expects them to be competitive.
The Hounds (3-4 Southeast Conference, 7-11 overall) dropped a doubleheader to Burlington on the road Monday night.
Schinstock said youth and a key injury is hampering the team a little, but not enough to not be in every game.
“We are (young) but at the same time we should be really competitive,” he said. “We’re gonna keep battling. I wasn’t expecting to lose two tonight.”
In the opener, the Bloodhounds trailed by two going into the sixth inning but tied things up on a two-out Luke Hellige bloop single over second base that scored Reece Huey. Hunter Cresswell drove in Brody Cashman with a fielder’s choice in the previous at-bat. Cashman singled to get on, Huey  followed with a double to center. Tateum Schelich would ground out to end the threat tied at 7.
Burlington would get a run in the bottom half to break up the tie. Schelich gave up a single to start the inning to Grayhound senior Gabe Robinson, but would pick him off at first on the second pitch to Ian Mason. Mason would ground out for the second out. Christos Kantzavelos then singled and stole second and third to set up what would be the game-winning run when Caden Barnes’ throw to first on a Logan Messer grounder bounced under Hellige’s glove to allow Kantzavelos to score on the play.
Fort Madison wouldn’t get a run in the top of the seventh going 1-2-3 to end the game.
Schelich suffered the loss, going two innings and giving up two hits and two runs, neither earned, while fanning two and walking one. Hellige got the start going four innings, surrendering six runs, three earned on six hits, while striking out three and walking two. The Hounds committed five errors in the game and outhit Burlington 10-8 in the loss.
Schinstock said those are going to happen, but surrendering scores every inning didn’t help either.
“They compound an inning. We gave up a run every inning, and we still competed.”
The Bloodhounds are playing without incoming freshman Owen Huffman, who has a .500 on-base percentage and anchors right field.
“Owen has been out for the past two weeks. Mike (Fuller) is doing a decent job in right field, but that takes away a .500 on-base and he’s a solid fielder. That takes some options away from us,” Schinstock said.
A four-run third inning spelled doom for Fort Madison in the nightcap. The Hounds held leads of 2-0 and 4-2 before giving up the big bottom of the third inning. Cresswell got Messer to ground out to start the inning, but then a walk to Josh Zahner, a single to Adrian Perez-Hall, a single to pitcher Evan Hecox, and a walk to catcher Brody Guernsey loaded the bases. Michael Kantzavelos then hit into a fielder’s choice scoring Guernsey to tie things up at 4-all with two outs. A wild pitch would bring another run in before Mason single and scored Kantzavelos for a 6-4 Grayhound lead. Stefan Berlett would come on in relief of Cresswell who was nearing 85 pitches and frustrated with the strike zone. Berlett would get a foul out to end the inning.
Schinstock said pitching hasn’t been too much of a problem with Cresswell and Hellige being able to go deep into games.
“The top end isn’t terrible, but when we get later in the week is where we struggle. Hunter and Luke do a good job. The second game tonight, the strike zone was tight, but it was for both teams.”
Fort Madison also saw Caden Barnes behind the plate for the first time in more than a year. The senior got some work blocking some of Berlett’s off-speed stuff that bounced early on.
The Hounds couldn’t put anything together in the 5th through the 7th despite having a baserunner in each frame.
Cresswell went 2 2/3 giving up five hits and six runs, five earned, while fanning five and walking six. Berlett finished the game giving up two hits and one run earned on two strikeouts and three walks.
Huey, Schelich, and Hellige had the only hits for Fort Madison. Hellige connected on an RBI double down the right field line in the top of the first for the only Bloodhound RBI on the night.
Burlington was led by Messer at the plate. He went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Hecox got the win going five innings, allowing four hits and four runs, one earned, while striking out nine Bloodhounds and walking four.
Burlington improves to 5-5 in the conference and 8-10 overall with the sweep.
Fort Madison travels to Muscatine on Wednesday and then hosts Burlington on Thursday before traveling to Keokuk on Friday.

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