By Denny Weller
Special to The Free Press
Mankato East’s tough-luck fortunes continued Thursday afternoon at Wolverton Field as Rochester Mayo gained a 5-2 win despite being outhit 10-6 in Game 1 of a Big Nine Conference baseball doubleheader.
The Cougars lost the second game 10-4 in nine innings.
East (1-7 overall, 1-6 in the Big Nine) continued to make plenty of solid plays in the contest, but when the Cougars committed a miscue, Mayo was there to make them pay. East stranded 10 runners on base and was guilty of four errors behind senior right-hander Arlen Nett, who struck out four and walked five in going the distance with 107 pitches.
“Other teams have been capitalizing on our mistakes and we haven’t capitalized on theirs,” East coach Dan Quame said. “Our kids have been competing and playing ball the way I expected, we just need to score a few more runs and make plays for the pitchers.”
Mayo’s Brad Mathiowetz finished 3 for 3 with three runs scored and solo blast well over the left-field fence in the fifth inning.
“He hit a good outside pitch the time before so then I tried to go inside on him,” Nett said of Mathiowetz’s home run. “He turned on it and he definitely got it all. I felt a lot better today and was able to keep my fastball in the zone and then use some off-speed pitches to keep them off balance.”
East trimmed May’s lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore designated hitter Nick Brink lined a single into left field and senior Patrick Rohlfing was hit by Spartans’ starter Tommy Hanson. After Tyler Substad’s bullet over a leaping third baseman loaded the bases with one out, Brent Adams drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and No. 9 hitter Cooper Wolfe ripped an RBI single. A gaffe on the bases ended the threat.
“Mistakes cost us today,” said Patrick Rohlfing, who along with Brink and Substad had two hits apiece. “We’re playing pretty good baseball and have been right there with the best teams in the Big Nine. We’re finding our pitches early in the count and jumping on them. If we keep doing what we’ve been doing wins are going to start coming our way.”
East had one final chance in the seventh, loading the bases with two outs, but reliever David Brust registered a strikeout to end the game.
In Game 2, Sean Allan allowed just two earned runs over eight innings before departing the game. Mayo then scored seven runs in the ninth as Jordan Grams took the loss in relief.
Allan was 2 for 4 at the plate with two runs scored. Drew Quame also had two hits. Mayo out-hit the Cougars 14-10.
East hosts Winona Saturday in a noon doubleheader.