FREDERICK — It has just been one of those years for Frederick coach Blaine Shirley and his Warriors baseball team.
"The baseball gods are just not on our side this year," said Shirley after his team's 9-2 loss to Mead on Saturday afternoon. "We've got a good team and the ability to play well, we just can't seem to put it all together at the right time."
Before the two game set with the Mavericks this week, that saw Mead win 7-6 on Thursday, Shirley challenged his squad to finish with a flourish.
While the Warriors showed flashes of brilliance, and even have a win over Tri-Valley League leading Windsor, nagging injuries and a dose of bad luck have contributed to their 1-13 overall record.
Mead (6-6 overall, 5-3 in the TVL) struggled early on against Frederick starter Dalton Nelson. The first time through the line-up Nelson struck out six and allowed just an infield single to Matt Regan.
But the Warriors senior, who has been nursing a nagging knee injury all season, had it all come unglued in the top of the fourth inning with his team up 1-0.
Scott Martensen led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. After Derek Edwards struck out, Gunner Pickett drove in the tying run with a double to left field. An Easton Adler walk and another hit batsmen, loaded the bases for Jake Skrine.
The right-fielder doubled in Pickett and Adler to put the Mavs up 3-1. The last pitch Nelson threw on Saturday was to Regan, who drove in Brian Kennedy and Skrine with a triple to the right-centerfield gap.
"The first time through it seemed like he was pumping a little bit more, but we knew he had a bum knee and he kind of slowed down," said Regan, who finished 3 for 3 with the two RBIs. "Those pitches were in the zone and we just started getting hits off of him."
Said Shirley of his seniors outing: "He gave his best effort and his knee is really bad, but he came out and fought through it. The obviously made adjustment and they jumped all over him."
Mead had six extra base hits on Saturday, including three triples. The Mavericks would tack on three insurance runs in the top of the seventh, the big blow was a two-run triple from Kennedy — who also pitched five strong innings for his first victory on the mound.
The Mavericks have a double header on Monday against two different foes — Roosevelt and Hinkley — and can build even more momentum going into the final month of the season.
"We've been winning ballgames, so I think we are pretty confident going into these next games," Regan said.
Mead 9, Frederick 2
Mead (6-6, 5-3) 000 600 3 — 9 9 0
Frederick (1-13, 1-9) 100 001 0 — 2 5 1
W — Brian Kennedy (1-0). L — Dalton Nelson (0-3).
Mead hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Luke Levin 4-1-1-1, Scott Martensen 3-1-0-0, Brady Carstens 0-0-0-0, Derek Edwards 4-1-1-0, AJ Bartel 0-0-0-0, Gunner Pickett 4-1-2-2, Easton Adler 2-2-0-0, Brian Kennedy 3-1-1-2, Jake Skrine 3-1-1-2, Lucas Hale 1-0-0-0, Matt Regan 3-1-3-2, Tyler Levine 3-0-0-0, Totals 30-9-9-9. 2B — Pickett, Skrine, Levine. 3B — Regan, Pickett, Kennedy. SB — Martensen, Edwards, Adler.
Frederick hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Mario Ramirez 2-1-1-0, Evan Prestwich 4-0-0-0, Bryce Shirley 2-1-0-1, Justin Smith 2-0-0-0, Westlee Powers 0-0-0-0, Avery Elkins 2-0-1-0, Jon Frenzel 2-0-0-0, Brayden Cartwright 1-0-0-1, Dalton Nelson 1-0-0-0, Austin Stephens 2-0-0-0, Tyler Couser 3-0-1-0, Jake Frenzel 3-0-2-0. Totals 24-2-5-2. 2B — Ramirez. SB — Ramirez, Elkins, Powers, Ja. Frenzel.
Mead pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kennedy 5-4-1-1-1-3, Hale 1-0-1-0-2-2, Carstens 1-1-0-0-0-3.
Frederick pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Nelson 3.1-4-6-5-1-7, Jo. Frenzel 3.2-5-3-31-2.