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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

'Let's play two'

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

(Photo)

David Jenkins, Staff

Charleston manager Michael Minner discusses strategy with starting pitcher Tyler McCann and catcher Zach Rowland in the second inning Monday afternoon.

CHARLESTON -- Sometimes there are good days and bad days. For the Charleston Fighting Squirrels, Monday was a bad day.

With a chance to wrap up the Midwest Plains Regional at Hillhouse Park and remain undefeated throughout, the Squirrels could not get the job done against the Kansas State Champions as they fell 11-2 forcing a winner-take-all situation today at 1 p.m.

"Its one of those situations where we didn't field it, we didn't hit it and we sure didn't pitch it," Charleston head coach Michael Minner said. "Good thing is, we've got a shot tomorrow (today) to come back and play better. And hopefully we do."

(Photo)

David Jenkins, Staff

Kansas players congratulate Matt Tyree after he hit a home run in the second inning Monday afternoon.

Charleston committed five errors on the defensive side as that allowed seven unearned runs to cross the plate.

"We just didn't play ball," Minner said. "We probably played our worst game of the year."

And to top it off, the Squirrels had a tough time trying to figure out Kansas' starting pitcher Dakota Walker. Walker pitched a complete game while four-hitting the Squirrels and giving up two runs (one earned) on three walks and striking out seven.

"That kid (Walker) gave us fits," said Minner. "He pitched four innings yesterday and all seven today so I'd like to think that he will be unavailable tomorrow. Maybe we'll get a shot at someone else."

Walker has thrown around 250 pitches during Kansas' run in the Regional, which head coach Travis Noel knows is "way too many" pitches.

(Photo)

David Jenkins, Staff

Charleston first baseman Mark Freed reaches for a pickoff throw Monday afternoon against Kansas. The throw was out of Freed's reach and Troy Albright of Kansas was able to advance to second.

"That's way too many," Noel said. "But, I've been with the kid since April and I know he has a big heart and he just has a rubber arm. I asked him how it feels and he said it was scary to him because it's too loose. But, he did us a fine job today and maybe tomorrow (today) in the late innings he might go one inning. I don't want to. But, we're just going to wait and see."

Kansas faced elimination against the Nebraska State Champions earlier Monday morning after falling to the Squirrels the day before. After sending Nebraska home in a close 12-10 game, Kansas still had enough in them to pull out a victory against Charleston and force a game two.

"The first game we looked ugly honestly," Noel said. "We came out and threw the ball around way too much. But in the second game, my hat's off to the boys. They turned it up a notch and they knew that Charleston was going to be ready."

Kansas also had a good performance at the plate as well, connecting for 12 total hits. They really busted the game open in the second inning when six runs crossed the plate on six hits. Charleston also had three errors in the inning that allowed four runs to score.

Matt Tyree, who went 2-for-3 at the plate, highlighted the inning with a two-run blast over the left field fence to begin the scoring frenzy.

"We preach all summer long to sit on the fast ball and be selective," said Noel. " That's the good thing about us. We're pretty patient. If they see a fastball in the zone they jump on it."

The only bright spot for the Squirrels at the plate was Blake Gaddis. Gaddis had three of the four Charleston hits including an RBI triple. Tyler Whybark was the only other Squirrel to figure out Walker for a hit.

As for Tuesday, Minner said that recently acquired Steven Dooley will get the start on the hill and will hopefully get the job done.

"We know what we have to do," Minner said. "So, we're going to try and do that tomorrow (today)."