MORRIS — After starting the season with six straight wins, the Morris baseball team finally played a home game Tuesday against non-conference rival Oswego.
Unfortunately for the Redskins, the home cooking, as well as the pitching by the Panthers' Matt Sorrel and Eric Valles, didn't agree with them as Oswego handed Morris its first loss of the year by a score of 6-1.
Oswego (5-3) scored single runs in the first, second, third and fifth innings before putting up two in the top of the seventh. Morris, meanwhile, did not score its lone run until the bottom of the seventh.
The Panthers opened the game with a walk to leadoff hitter J.D. Miller, who then stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. After Garry Maynard was hit by a pitch and stole second, Luke Menard lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score Miller. In the second, Jack Lemke led off with a single, was bunted to second by Cody Quirin and scored on an RBI single to left by Aidan Griffin. With one out in the top of the third, Maynard slammed a solo homer to center to put the Panthers ahead, 3-0.
Meanwhile, Oswego starter Sorrels was cruising. The lefty retired the first seven Morris batters he faced before walking Morris starting pitcher Cody Bledsoe. Chatten Dryfhout followed with a hit to put runners on first and second with one out, but Sorrels worked out of the jam by getting a fly out to center and a strikeout to end the inning.. Sorrels went 5 2/3 innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out six.
"Give their kid [Sorrels] credit," Morris coach Todd Kein said. "He threw the ball well. And, we contributed to that by deviating from some of our offensive philosophies in the box. There's a reason we have those philosophies, but today, we had some kids wanting to do their own thing at the plate."
Miller led od off the top of the fifth with a solo homer to left for a 4-0 Oswego lead. Bledsoe faced one more batter, who he retired, before being lifted in favor of Zach Reddinger. Bledsoe allowed four runs, all earned, on five hits and struck out three. Reddinger allowed two runs in his 2 2/3 innings, striking out one and walking one while allowing three hits.
"Cody got behind some hitters early one, and it hurt him," Kein said. "That catches up to you. We knew Oswego would come in here and hit the ball hard.
"It was nice for us to start out 6-0, but we have a tough stretch of games coming up here, and the tone will change a little bit. Our job now is to take something positive out of this loss and see how we resond to adversity. I didn't think we competed very well between the lines today.
"It's nice to have experience on the club, but if that experience isn't going to lead by example, then it isn't doing much good. We'll see how things go from here on out. There's still a lot of baseball to be played."
Morris mustered just three hits off of Sorrels and Valles, two by Reddinger. WIth one out in the bottom of the seventh, Reddinger hit an infield single to deep short before an error on a ball hit by Evan Briones and a walk to Chatten Dryfhout, who had the Redskins' other hit, loaded the bases. Cole Laurie then grounded to third, scoring Reddinger to avoid the shutout.