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Wood bats fall silent for Raiders

The Osawatomie Raiders ran their season opening winning streak to three games in the opening round of the Jim Allen Wood Bat Tournament in Ottawa, as they defeated Garnett 8-7 on Friday, June 4, 2010 in Ottawa. But from there, it was a nightmare of sorts for the Raiders as they dropped their next four games to finish eighth in the event.

After the tourney opening triumph, the Raiders fell to Silver Lake by an 11-5 score, then to Ottawa in a close 8-7 loss, and then closed out pool play with an 8-0 shutout loss before falling 5-3 to Rossville in the seventh place game.

WLH0168 After a bit of a shaky start, Raiders pitcher Austin Chisam threw six good innings to get the victory, despite giving up two runs on two hits and an error in the first inning. The Raiders had staked Chisam to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, as Daine Needham walked and later scored on a wild pitch to give Osawatomie a quick 1-0 lead. Garnett picked up two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead.

In the third inning, the raiders got a one out double by Travis Marsh, who scord on a single by Daine Needham. Needham later came around and scored the go-ahead run to give the Raiders a 3-2 lead.

The Raiders scored five runs in the sixth and seventh innings to open an 8-3 lead after six and a half innings, and as it turned out, they would need every run they plated, as Garnett scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull to within one run as the game ended.

In the sixth, clinging to a 3-2 lead, the Raiders got a lead-off single from Austin Porter, followed by singles from Cody McNutt, Travis Manes and Cody Applegarth. Porter and Manes scored in the inning giving the Raiders a 5-2 lead. After a Garnett home run in the bottom of the sixth cut the lead to 5-3, but the Raiders responded with three more runs in the top of the seventh inning to grab an 8-3 lead.

In the seventh Travis Marsh reached safely on an error with one out, followed by a single by Daine Needham. Both runners scored on a double off the bat of Porter who also scored on a single by Cody McNutt.

Garnett pushed across four runs in the bottom of the seventh, but the Raider lead held up, and they took the opening game of pool play by the final 8-7 count.

After a promising start, the weekend turned quickly for the Raiders as they came back on Saturday and suffered a blow out loss and a close loss in their two games for the day. In the opening game of the day, Silver Lake feasted on Raider pitching, racking up 11 runs on 12 hits and two errors in the 11-5 win. Silver Lake scored at least one run in every inning, and still left nine base runners stranded in the blow-out affair.

The Raiders picked up single runs in the second and fourth and three in the fifth, but were no match for Silver Lake. In the second inning Porter singled and scored the Raiders first run on a single by Applegarth to tie the game at 1-1. By the time the Raiders scored again in the fourth inning, Silver Lake had opened an 8-1 lead and the game was not in doubt. In the fourth, Porter reached base on an error and scored on a fielders choice hit by Travis Manes. The Raiders cut the lead to 8-5 in the fifth as Chisam, Marsh and Needham scored for Osawatomie, but Silver Lake put the game out of reach with three more runs to take the 11-5 victory.

The next opponent for the Raiders was Ottawa, a squad which had torn through the season last year on their way to a 43-0 record, but in the early going at least, the Raiders looked like they were not going to play to the hype, as they jumped all over Ottawa and opened a 7-1 lead after an inning and a half of play.

After Ottawa opened a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Raider bats came alive, as they pushed across seven runs on four hits, an error, a walk and a hit batsman in the seven run outburst. McNutt grounded out to the first baseman to open the inning, but from there six batters reach base, and all six scored in the inning. Divine doubled, Manes singled and Josh Criddle singled to score the first Raider run. Roth reached on an error scoring Manes, followed by Chisam being hit by a pitch, and Marsh drawing a walk which also scored a run and left the bases loaded.

Needham hit a fly ball which was caught by the second baseman for the second out of the inning before Porter smashed a grand slam home run, clearing the bases and giving the Raiders a 7-1 lead. McNutt, who started the inning with a ground out, ended the inning with a strike out, but the Raiders were firmly in charge of the game.

The Raiders were in charge of the game, that is, until their bats went silent, and they allowed Ottawa to claw their way back into the contest. From that seven run second inning, the Raiders were held scoreless and Ottawa climbed back into it, scoring a run in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth, one in the sixth and finally two in the bottom of the seventh inning to take the 8-7 victory.

Coming back on Sunday afternoon to play Rock Creek, the Raiders continued to feel the effects of the stunning 8-7 loss on Saturday, and Osawatomie bats were again silent, falling by an 8-0 score to Rock Creek.

Rock Creek scored once in the second inning, four more runs in the fourth and three in the sixth to take the victory. The Raiders picked up one hit off the bat of Austin Porter in the second inning but it would be the only hit Osawatomie would gain in the game. Rock Creek pitchers did issue three walks on the day and the Raiders stranded two runners.

In an effort to salvage the weekend, the Raiders fought to a 3-3 tie with Rossville in the seventh place game after five innings, but Rossville pushed across two runs in the sixth inning to had the Raiders their fourth consecutive loss in the tournament and on the season by a score of 5-3.

In the first inning, Chisam walked and scored on a two out bases loaded walk to Divine. Bases on balls got the Raiders on the board again in the second inning, as Applegarth and Needham both walked to start the inning. Chisam moved the runners up 90 feet with a sacrifice bunt and Marsh picked up the Raiders second run of the game as he grounded out to the second baseman.

After Rossville had grabbed a 3-2 lead with a run in the first and two more in the third, the Raiders tied the score in the fifth as Daine Needham singled and scored on a McNutt double, but Rossville would come back and score two more times in the sixth inning to take the 5-3 victory.

“We when 1-4 at Ottawa,” said Raiders Head Coach Ron Maring. “We played very good at times, but we showed our youth at others.”

The Raiders will return to the home diamond on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 with a double header against Linn County before taking off to Baxter Springs for the Field of Dreams Tournament over the coming weekend.

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