The mid-summer doldrums cursed the Sedalia Bombers on Monday.
Brad Spinner’s velocity was a tick softer, the defense was a step late and the offense was a run short in a 6-5 loss to the Nevada Griffons at Dey Field at Liberty Park in Sedalia.
Nevada starter Bryce Tassin tossed eight innings, striking out six and allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk. The Bombers batted into four double plays as Tassin faced six over the minimum.
Alex Bee homered in the ninth off Tyler Butcher to make it a one-run game. Jordan Dey, pinch-hitting, ended the game with a fly out to left.
Head coach Craig McAndrews said the Griffons beat Sedalia in every aspect of the game.
“We did not play well,” McAndrews said. “We gave ourselves a chance late but, at the same time, we did not play well. In the second inning, we threw the ball around, and that led to four runs.”
Spinner pitched six innings, allowing a pair of runs in the second and third innings. He threw away a double-play ball in the second inning, allowing Nevada two base runners. A string of three singles in the third to give the Griffons a 4-0 lead.
The left-handed starter exited in favor of Tyler Hutchinson after tossing three scoreless frames.
Sedalia cut the deficit to one run in the third. Robert Cummins singled home Ryan Mantel – who reached on dropped third strike – and scored with John Privitera on a Justin Holt single up the middle. Holt drove in two with a multi-hit game.
Cummins played his fourth game in right field Monday. McAndrews said Cummins and fellow catcher Bee will share time in right rotating positions behind the dish. Injuries to Dalton Horstmeier and Jake Kistaitis forced the platoon.
Ben Whetstone led off the seventh with a double to deep right center. He scored when Mantel grounded into a double play, tying the game at four. Whetstone, starting at first, was 2-for-4 at the plate.
Graham Roupp entered the game in the eighth for the hold. Judah Zickafoose tripled when Cummins dove unsuccessfully at the line drive in right. Nevada regained the lead, on a Trevor Peterson sacrifice fly to right. The Griffons added another run off Cody Creed in the ninth.
McAndrews stressed that the Bombers’ summer grind is not unique to 2016. Sedalia and the St. Joseph Mustangs have finished within three games of each other four of the last five years.
“Every year it’s like this,” McAndrews said. “It’s usually us and St. Joe at the end, who’s tougher?”
The Bombers (19-13) are currently second place in the MINK League North standings, 1/2 game behind the Chillicothe Mudcats and St. Joseph Mustangs. Sedalia hosts the Clarinda A’s at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Liberty Park in Sedalia.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2