The Men of Marian's 23rd annual Chinese Auction is being held today and tomorrow.
If "offense" happens to be one of the prizes being offered, then the Colts baseball team needs to be serious bidders.
For the third time in as many days, the Marian bats have been missing in action, as Minersville cruised to a 6-2 Schuylkill League victory over the Colts.
While the loss drops Marian to 1-2 overall, its four-hit effort yesterday afternoon dropped the team's combined batting average to just .171 on the year. If that's not bad enough, the Colts are striking out an average of nine times per game in the early going.
"We're not generating any offense and that's a big time concern right now," stated Marian head coach Jeff Nietz. "The first two games, we hit the ball hard, but we hit it right at people. Today, we didn't hit it at all and we took too many strikeouts, and that's what makes it frustrating."
After Marian pitcher Logan Mehalshick issued back-to-back walks to start the game, Minersville attempted a double steal, but an errant K.J. Snerr throw went into left field allowing Aaron Fritz to score. A second Marian fielding error in the ensuing inning allowed Dakota Pritz to score, after he walked, stole second, and came home on a Luke Hefron single to left that was misplayed by the outfielder. The Battlin' Miners increased the lead to 3-0 after Chad Purcell's RBI ground out plated Hefron.
While Minersville was busy scoring runs, the Colts were busy striking out.
Junior pitcher Aaron Fritz struck out the side in the first inning and fanned seven of the first nine Marian batters to step to the plate. On the day, Fritz struck out 10 Colts, while issuing just four hits and two walks.
"I give all the credit in the world to (Aaron) Fritz – he threw a great game," added Nietz. "He hit his spots, threw hard and did a good job of mixing in the curve to keep us off balance. We just didn't have an answer for him today."
Minersville's Ryan King led off the third inning with a triple to right field and came home on a sacrifice fly to center field by Isaac Melochick. James Brophy doubled in the next at-bat, which chased Mehalshick from the game after just two and a third innings.
"We have total confidence in our pitchers, but Logan just had a bad start to the game which was unfortunate," said Nietz. "He had a hard time getting his breaking ball to break and he was basically just relying on a fastball and splitter. Against these guys, if you don't get something breaking off, they're going to wait for the fastball, sit on it and hit it."
Minersville increased its lead to 6-0 in the fifth inning when Chris Leshko scored on a bases-loaded walk and Ryan King scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Murphy.
The Colts finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the frame when K.J. Snerr singled to right, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error and came home on a fielding error. Snerr also had an RBI groundout in the seventh inning to score Peter Baddick, which closed out the scoring.
Ryan King had two hits and two runs to pace Minersville (2-2).
For Marian, Peter Baddick went 2-for-3, including a double to lead off the seventh frame.
Minersville 121 020 0 - 6 7 3
Marian 000 010 1 - 2 4 2
Fritz and Hefron; Mehalshick, Kubishin (3), Baddick (5) and Snerr. W - Fritz. L - Mehalshick.