The Hannibal Hoots want to hit the reset button after stranding a dozen base runners during a 9-1 loss to Kokomo on Saturday night.
The Hannibal Hoots want to hit the reset button after Saturday night.
The Hoots (15-19) struck out 13 times and stranded a dozen base runners while allowing five runs with two outs during a 9-1 loss to the Kokomo Jackrabbits in a Prospect League game at Clemens Field.
Kokomo (18-14) took the lead by scoring three runs with two outs in the second inning and never looked back, furthering its lead with a four-run fifth.
“They had two big innings they took advantage of and we didn't execute like we should've,” Hannibal manager Clayton Hicks said. “They threw back at us what we've been preaching here the last couple weeks — controlled chaos and making the other team beat you. They beat us at our own game tonight.
“We just need to reset and refocus and we'll go from here.”
Marcos Sanchez chopped an RBI single through the right side of the infield to give Kokomo its first run. Dalton Clarke came home on a double steal as a throw to second sailed into centerfield. Tavon Lindsey poked a single to center to make it 3-0.
Hoots No. 2 hitter Patrick Donohue lasered a liner back to Kokomo starting pitcher Walker Brockhouse for an infield single in the bottom of the third. The play drove home catcher Sam Nozicka, who scored Hannibal's lone run in front of a paid crowd of 1,445.
Hannibal hit into a double play to strand the bases loaded.
The Hoots put runners in scoring position in each of the next three innings but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities.
“We didn't have timely hitting, and they did tonight,” Hicks said. “We didn't take advantage of their mistakes, and they took advantage of ours.”
Brian Fuentes clobbered a two-run homer to left field with two outs in the fifth to extend the Kokomo lead to 7-1.
Fuentes has driven in eight runs over the past four games for the Jackrabbits.
“Brian is swinging the bat really well right now,” Kokomo manager Gary McClure said. “He's hit three home runs in the last four games. He's been really consistent lately and is starting to come into his own."
That was enough to knock out Hoots starter Quinton Kujawa, who surrendered seven runs (six earned) on six hits over five innings to take the loss.
“'Q' knows he's better than he was tonight,” Hicks said.
Brockhouse held Hannibal to one run while striking out eight over five innings to earn the win for the visitors.
“Walker was really good at times but sometimes he was inconsistent with his fastball,” McClure said. “He settled in there and when he really started staying within, he was pitching well.”
Hunter Wienhoff took over for Hoots reliever Christhian Cordona in the eighth and inherited the bases loaded with nobody out in his debut. The Wayne State College sophomore retired all three batters he faced, including two by strikeouts.
“Hunter came in and filled it up,” Hicks said. “He was great tonight. Hopefully he can continue that going forward.”
The Jackrabbits bullpen posted four shutout innings.
Hannibal loaded the bases again in the eighth but had nothing to show for it. The Hoots stranded runners in scoring position in six different innings.
Jordan Humphries was a bright spot for the hosts with a 3-for-4 night at the plate.
“Jordan just got back from a couple recruiting trips and we've been trying to work him back slow to get his timing back,” Hicks said of the first baseman. “He came out tonight looking like he didn't miss a beat. It was nice to see him stay pretty hot.”
Hannibal is scheduled to host Kokomo again at 3:05 p.m. on Sunday.
The Hoots, recently off a 10-game winning streak, look to rebound after winning 11 of their past 12 entering Saturday.
“It's tough with the schedule being what it's been,” Hicks said. “We've played nine games in seven days. Our pitching staff has been beat up and it's tough right now. But we'll reset and go from here.”