Marceline Left Empty-Handed on Diamond at Cairo Saturday

As reported to LCL
Marceline High School catcher Nathan Cupp reaches out to tag Cairo junior baserunner Tyler Davis at home plate on a failed suicide squeeze attempt in the bottom of the fifth inning of last Saturday’s first-round game in the Cairo Bearcats Classic. Cairo already led 6-0 at the time and defeated Marceline 10-0 in six innings.

CAIRO — Marceline High School’s baseball Tigers headed into a new week of play this week with a 3-4 record and 3-games losing streak after picking up a pair of defeats in last Saturday’s 4-teams tournament at Cairo, where his dad Mike formerly coached for much of the 1990s. The Marceline coach ended up attending and graduating from nearby Westran when his father took coaching and teaching positions there in 2000, J. Aulbur shared.

MHS visits Westran in Lewis and Clark Conference play Monday and next is due to host Scotland County in league action tomorrow at 5 p.m. The Tigers commenced the week 1-2 in the L&C.

In last Saturday’s Cairo Baseball Classic, Marceline couldn't keep up with the host Bearcats (9-3) in the morning match-up, falling 10-0 on the 10-runs-lead rule in the bottom of the sixth inning. 

Hunter Quinn started on the hill for the Tigers, Aulbur reports. He surrendered six runs (only two earned) on eight hits over four innings, striking out six.

Jaxon Schmitt, who rescued Quinn and his team from a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the top of the fifth – albeit with Cairo already up 6-0, threw 1-1/3 innings in relief. He was charged with the other four Cairo runs (two earned) on two hits and three walks.

“Hunter threw a good game. He is our ace pitcher and threw strikes, but our defense did not fully support him. Hunter also has been one of our good leaders,” the Tigers coach told the Moberly Monitor-Index.

At bat, Calvin Cathey and Quinn split the only two Marceline hits.

“The floodgates opened up against us in the bottom of the third inning when we made a couple of errors that led to Cairo runs being scored,” Aulbur told the Index’s Chuck Embree.

“The big thing that hurt us was our lack of hitting and our (seven) errors. We were not seeing the ball well and we need better confidence when we're standing at the plate.”

Sophomore Logan Head pitched a complete game 1-hitter for Cairo. The sophomore fanned 12 Tigers and walked two. He also helped his cause by going two for three at the plate, driving in two runs.

“It took us until the third inning before we figured some things out on what adjustments we needed to do against Marceline's starting pitcher. As soon as we got it, our guys did a nice job of watching a lot of pitches and putting it into play,” Bearcats coach Morgan Matthews said.

Three unearned runs were plated in the bottom of the third. After two reached on errors, Head singled up the middle to score the first run of the frame. A one-out single to center brought home and another RBI single to right field capped the inning.

Cairo put itself in prime position to cause some serious damage to Marceline during their first game of its Bearcats Baseball Classic by loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

What transpired next having fewer than five pitches delivered left Bearcats fans speechless. Cairo twice in a row failed to make contact on suicide-squeeze bunt attempts, the Monitor-Index reported, resulting in the lead runner being tagged out. Schmitt then completed the strikeout to escape with Marceline unscathed.

“I take the blame,” Matthews told the Monitor-Index. “I need to do a better job of getting my players better focused. … We're fortunate the things that happened in this inning did not determine the final outcome of the ball game.”

In the afternoon game against Centralia, the Tigers again finished on the short end of the score, 7-3.

Wyatt Molloy started the game pitching for the MHS, according to Aulbur. The righthander allowed four hits and three runs in two innings, striking out two and walking one, before giving way to sophomore Tanner Sayre, who threw the last five innings out of the bullpen.

Second baseman Tanner Sayre of the Marceline High School Tigers making a throw to first base during the team’s game against the hosts in the Cairo Bearcat Classic tournament Saturday, April 17, 2021. Sayre threw five innings of relief in MHS’ second game of the tournament against Centralia, which CHS won 7-3. ( CHUCK EMBREE / MOBERLY MONITOR-INDEX )

Marceline’s bats came alive against the Panthers, racking up 11 hits, but turning them into only three runs. Molloy went four for four and Quinn also had multiple hits.

Marceline was sure-handed in the field this time, Aulbur noted, not committing a single error against CHS.