BATH — Bailey West was just about the last thing the Smith-Tobey legion baseball team needed.

The Bessey Motors starting pitchers fanned six batters and allowed just two hits over four innings of work that led to yet another Zone 2 setback for Smith-Tobey. West’s outing was backed up with plentiful support and the visitors walked away with a 10-0 mercy-rule win after five frames.

It’s just been that kind of summer.

“It’s a pretty tough loss,” Smith-Tobey coach Brandon Murray said. “Not a lot of energy out there. We had bad base-running mistakes and our defense is still a little shaky. Our outfield’s a little shaky.”

West was locked in from the get-go for Bessey Motors (8-7), striking out three of the game’s first four batters and throwing just 17 pitches before the third frame. A hit batter and a single from Smith-Tobey’s (1-14) Isiah Cogswell prolonged the inning, but no damage was done and the score was 7-0 after three.

“Their pitcher (West) was right on point,” Murray said. “He was really waste-to-knee. He really hit his spots. He was really on, really hitting his spots, so credit to him.”

After only 52 pitches over four innings, Bessey Motors’ coach Ben Goodall pulled West in an attempt to save his arm for the tail end of the season approaching. Before handing the ball over to Blake Slicer, he fanned two more batters.

“Just the consistency in his delivery,” Goodall said of West’s success. “We talk about it a lot, him repeating his delivery. If he has a solid breaking pitch to go with his really good fastball, he’s pretty unhittable.”

A base-running error erased any promise Smith-Tobey sparked in the bottom of the fifth, and Slicer struck out the two final two batters of the game to prompt the mercy rule.

Nothing doing

Taylor Shaw started on the mound for Smith Tobey, where, in the top of the first inning, a four-pitch walk (West) and a single (Janek Luksa) quickly turned into two runs thanks to a Troy Johnson two-RBI base knock. Shaw got out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts and a tight play at first that held the score at 2-0.

Shaw, who finished the evening with 74 pitches over three innings, chucked a smooth second inning, but the Bessey Motor bats were just heating up. Johnson singled again and later scored on a Matt Smith double, while Smith (error), Hunter LaBossiere, Conor Truman and Trent Spalding also crossed home. Murray pulled his starter after the inning with the score 7-0.

“I think that we’ve kind of taken a team approach here,” Goodall said of his offense. “We’ve kind of gotten aggressive in the box and it’s been working really well for us. We’ve been getting in good counts and staying aggressive.”

Things started well for Austin Magliozzi in relief, but Bessey Motors had more in mind in the fifth inning. With two outs and the top of the order coming up, the visitors reached base six times in a row to seal the deal. Four walks in the frame led to another change from Murray, who handed the ball off to Tait Nygaard to close out the side.

The Smith-Tobey pitchers combined to allow nine hits and seven walks in five innings.

“At the plate, specifically, we were very good in our execution and we didn’t miss anything. We had a couple ten-pitch at-bats — guys got on base and we did what we had to do,” Goodall said.

Despite the disappointing season thus far, Smith-Tobey is in a battle with Franklin County for the eighth and final playoff spot in Zone 2. With limited numbers and numerous close losses, Murray and company are just taking it one game at a time.

“We think about it, but we try and grind through each game,” Murray said. “We’re still struggling to get guys here and credit to these guys that keep showing up — they want to be here and play ball. That fire’s still there. This team can put it together. We can go on a run —I’d watch out for us on a run.”


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