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Raiders fade at "Field of Dreams"

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The American Legion Field of Dreams in Baxter Springs started out like a dream for the Osawatomie Raiders as they played three games at the facility on June 11 & 12, 2010, but ended in a bit of a nightmare, as the Raiders went 1-2 in the weekend games at Baxter.

The Raiders opened with a 4-0 victory over the host team Baxter Springs on Friday, but Saturday was a different story, as the Raiders fell to Columbus 8-7 in nine innings and then lost a rematch with Baxter Springs by a 12-4 count.

WLH0112 Things started well for the Raiders, as they opened the weekend action with a 4-0 shut-out victory over Baxter Springs, jumping to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Austin Chisam got things started for the Raiders as he walked to lead off the inning and moved to second base on a passed ball. Travis Marsh got the Raiders on the board by stroking a single to right field, scoring Chisam. Marsh later scored the Raiders second run of the inning and at the end of one full inning of play, the Raiders led 2-0.

The Raider offense continued to click in the second, as a Baxter Spring error, a walk, sacrifice bunt and a single by Drew Needham was all the Raiders needed to stretch the lead to 3-0. Osawatomie put their final run on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning, as they picked up a lead off single from Austin Porter and one out single by Cody McNutt before a ground ball to short by Cody Applegarth scored Porter with the fourth and final run of the contest.

On the hill, Seth Jones pitched the first five and a third innings, with McNutt coming on in relief to get the final two outs of the game. The Raiders pitchers allowed just one hit, ten strike outs and a walk with two hit batters, the Raiders committed two errors on the day, keeping the Baxter Springs hitters at bay, allowing just four base runners in the contest.

Saturday morning wasn’t as kind to the Raiders as Friday night was, as they found themselves locked in an extra inning game with Columbus eventually coming out on the short end of an 8-7 score.

Things started well for the Raiders as Chisam led off with a single to left and moved to third on a stolen base and wild pitch before scoring the game’s first run on a fly ball to left by Travis Marsh. Daine Needham was the next Raiders base runner, reaching by being hit by a pitch, he proceeded to steal second and third and scored when Porter lined a double to left center. Jones walked but the inning ended when he was doubled off first base on a liner to right by McNutt.

Columbus picked up three runs in the bottom of the first, and both teams were scoreless in the second, but in the third inning, the Raiders re-took the lead in the top of the inning, as Travis Manes opened the inning by being hit by a pitch advancing to third and scoring as Chisam grounded out to short. Marsh singled before Needham flew out to center for the second out of the inning. Porter walked and Jones was hit by a pitch to load the bases for McNutt who singled to left center to drive in two more runs and the Raiders had grabbed a 5-3 lead.

In the bottom of the third, Columbus sliced one run off the lead, and moving to the top of the fourth, the Raiders held a 5-4 lead. In the top of the fourth, Kueser reached on an error and came around to score on a single by Chisam, giving the Raiders a 6-4 lead. Columbus did not score in the bottom of the inning and in the top of the fifth, the Raiders tacked on another run as Jones led off the inning with a double down the third base line and scored on a sacrifice fly by McNutt, making the score 7-4.

Columbus began to crawl back into the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring one run with two outs on back to back hits to make the score 7-5. Neither team was able to score in the sixth, and after the Raiders were retired in the top of the inning, all that stood between Osawatomie and a 2-0 start to the weekend were three outs.

They always say the last three outs are the hardest to record, and for the Raiders, those three outs didn’t come fast enough, as Columbus used a single, a hit batter and a double to scratch out two runs to tie the game at 7-7 and send it to extra innings.

Neither team scored in the eight and the Raiders threatened but were unable to score in the top of the ninth, but in the bottom of the inning, Columbus used back to back one out singles and a bunt to set up a bases loaded situation, and then scored the winning run on a squeeze bunt to take the 8-7 victory.

After the nine inning marathon game, the Raiders had to come back almost immediately and take on the host team Baxter Springs again, and this time the result was not a pleasant as the night before, as Baxter took a 12-4 victory.

Unlike the night before, the Raider offense was held in check early, and they didn’t score a run until the fifth inning, but by that time Baxter Springs was sitting on a 9-0 lead, scoring one run in the first, three in the second, three in the fourth and two more in the fifth to open the 9-0 lead. The Raiders put up three runs in the fifth, and one more in the sixth, but when Baxter Springs put up three runs in the the bottom of the sixth the game ended on the run rule.

The Raiders had a chance to score in the second, as the picked up three hits, but could not cross home plate. In the fifth Divine led off with a walk, then, with two out Burkdoll and Chisam walked and all three runners scored on a double off the bat of Marsh. In the sixth, Porter singled to lead off the inning and later scored on a fly ball by McNutt to give Osawatomie their four runs.

The Raiders return to action on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 when they travel to Paola to play a double header at Russell Field in Wallace Park, the first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

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