FARMINGTON — A quick downpour ended things early at Ricketts Park with SZ Morrissey holding off SZ Scanlan 3-0 Thursday night.
Just after the teams took the field for the top of the sixth inning, heavy rain began falling, with lightning flashes brightening the field and its thunder echoing off the bleachers. The teams were sent to their respective dugouts, and a few minutes later the game was called.
SZ Scanlan had some chances in the top of the first inning to get on the scoreboard, but a lack of aggression at the plate and two base running mistakes kept a zero on the board.
After Alex Vigil and Jacob Defeinbaugh reached to put runners on first and second with one away, Trae Jaqua recorded a single. But on Jaqua's hit, Defeinbaugh rounded second with his head down, missing the hold signal from third and came too far off the bag to get back under the tag at second.
During the next at-bat, Jaqua was caught stealing to end the inning.
"It was tough right there," SZ Scanlan coach Alex Scanlan said of the first inning. "If we attack fastballs early in the count, maybe we push a run across in that first inning. If we keep our eyes up coming around bags, we stay in that bases-loaded situation and not get thrown out at second."
The missed opportunities would continue for Scanlan's squad.
In the fourth, after Chris Garcia laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third with one out, SZ Scanlan took back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
"We took fastballs right down the middle. When you do that, you deserve to get rang up on an outside pitch after you just watched a fastball down the middle," Scanlan said. "It's something they've gotten into a funk with. We're getting froze up and looking when we have runners in scoring position."
While SZ Scanlan failed to take advantage of scoring opportunities, SZ Morrissey jumped on its opponents mistakes, scoring two of the team's three runs on SZ Scanlan mishaps.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a Dayne Rowley RBI single, SZ Morrissey got two more runs in the third, both on wild pitches from Defeinbaugh.
Throughout the game, Defeinbaugh struggled with his control, but aside from the two wild pitches that led to runs, he was always able to get out of every jam.
"The dude is a competitor," Scanlan said of Defeinbaugh. "Today, he was a little wild, but actually, it probably helped him a little bit. He was able to keep guys off balance because he wasn't in the zone that much, and when he found the zone, it was good. He was hitting spots when he needed to."
Entering the summer, SZ Scanlan had the goal of advancing through the City Tournament, which begins Monday, and hoped to meet SZ Morrissey for the championship. And with the close decision Thursday, Scanlan sees his squad as a serious threat to its fellow Strikezone squad next week.
"It's big for these guys to come out here and show that they can compete," Scanlan said. "We've got two more games scheduled against them (SZ Morrissey), so hopefully we can come out and compete, keep doing what we're doing and hopefully come away with a win."