MIDDLETOWN – The Middletown Madison Mohawks jumped out to an early lead over the Tri-Village Patriots on Monday, forcing the Patriots to pull their starting pitcher and put in a reliever.
Tri-Village gradually slowed down the pace of Madison’s scoring and finally began to score some itself. But it was too deep of a hole for the Patriots to dig themselves out of and they would fall 11-2.
The Mohawks are a Division II team, and they are physical as well. Their batting order features a higher than expected number of southpaws. It felt like every third batter was batting left handed.
Madison hit well for extra bases – sending one over the fence and getting a fair number of doubles. But the Patriot defense did have some fielding errors that aided the Mohawks and made their job easier.
After spotting Madison a 9-0 lead by the third inning, the Patriots played even with the Mohawks, allowing just two more runs and scoring two themselves. So that gives some hope for the future – as long as the Patriots can get out of the blocks with a strong start, they have showed that they are capable of playing with a very good team.
“Madison has a very strong baseball program down here,” Tri-Village baseball coach Jim Maples said. “Our defense played poorly the first couple of innings. But they were hitting the ball hard and putting it into play. The last two weeks the weather has not been the best so we have not been able to get on the field. We still have some things that we need to work on, and it showed out here today. We just can’t get down on it – we did not play our best ball today. We need to put this game behind us and rebound from here.
“Cameron Munchel came in on relief and gave us some quality innings today. He also hit the ball well – got two hits, one of them a solid double in the fifth and got an RBI. So today he had a nice day.”
The Patriots have a total of six seniors, five of which are returning varsity players.
“First there is Christian Ricker – the game starter,” Maples said. “He had a rough outing today, but he expected to be our No. 1 starter. This will be his third year. He is a good leadoff hitter, too. Trey Frech is our second baseman. He will be hitting in the two spot, and he will be seeing time on the mound as our No. 2 pitcher. Jared Buckly is in center field; he is one of the best center fielders around. He is strong and really came around as a hitter last year. We expect the same out of him this year. Cameron Munchel, our reliever today, is our regular left fielder and is also a good hitter. Jackson Plush is our right fielder. Last year was his first year playing, and he did really well. We look for him to do well again for us this year.”
The Patriots will have another wet week if the forecast holds true. But look for them to improve as the season goes on.