Baseball: Panthers fall at Bandit Bash

Jesse Zimmer was called out on a close play at home in the second inning as he tried to score from third on a fly to the right fielder. If he had been safe the game would have been tied 5-5.

After opening the season with three straight losses, the Princeton Panthers had rebounded by going 6-2 in their next eight games, all in Eastern Minny League play. But the team now has another three-game losing streak after losing two games in the Bandit Bash, a tournament in Cambridge last weekend. The losing streak began with a 13-2 loss at home to league-leading Mora on Wednesday of last week. The Panthers lost 7-4 to Champlin Park in the tournament Saturday morning before losing 4-3 to the Bloomington Bandits on Sunday morning. A win in either of those games would have meant playing one more game in the tournament. “We just couldn’t get hits at the right time,” said manager Jules Zimmer about the Cambridge tournament. The Panthers, 6-8 for the season, 6-3 in the Eastern Minny games they have played, are off until next Wednesday when Mora is here for a 7:30 game. Mora The Blue Devils scored four runs in the third and three in the fourth off starter Josh Vickers and cruised to the 13-2 win. Vickers pitched four innings, Erik Ostmoe two innings and Josh Hanus three, Hanus striking out the side in the eighth inning. The Panthers didn’t get much offense going against Mora starter Jeff Oslin, managing only five hits in seven innings. Princeton scored in the fifth inning with Ryan Carling getting the RBI single and scored in the eighth off a reliever on a single by Hanus. PRINCETON (2) AB R H RBI Norman,ss-2b 5 0 0 0 Carling,cf 5 0 2 1 Je Zimmer,dh 5 0 2 0 Vickers,p-ss 0 0 0 0 Beattie,rf 5 0 1 0 Ju Zimmer,pr 0 0 0 0 Ostmoe,2b-p 3 0 1 0 Solberg,ss 2 1 1 0 Bialucha,1b 1 0 0 0 Knoll,pr 0 0 0 0 Becklin,1b 1 0 0 0 Neubauer,c 3 0 1 0 Danna,lf 2 0 0 0 Goldsmith,lf 2 0 0 0 Hanus,3b-p 3 1 1 1 37 2 9 2 MORA 40 13 12 11 IP H R ER BB SO Vickers 4 6 7 6 4 1 Ostmoe 2 3 3 2 1 0 Hanus 3 2 3 3 5 4 Champlin Park Princeton scored four runs in the first inning but couldn’t push across another run, although there were some chances. Carling, Jesse Zimmer and Tyler Bialucha all drove in runs in the inning as the Panthers batted 10 but left the bases loaded. Champlin Park came back with two in the bottom of the inning and the Logators got three more in the second for a 5-4 lead. Perhaps the most important play of the game came in the second inning when, with the bases loaded and two outs, Princeton starter Josh Ludwig picked a runner off first. The runner broke for second, a couple throws followed, and when the dust cleared, all runners had gotten back to their bases safely, even though the Panthers had a runner trapped between third and home. A two-run single followed to give the Logators a lead they never lost. A two-run homer with two outs in the fifth made it 7-4. The Panthers left nine runners on in the seven-inning game. Zimmer was thrown out on a close play while trying to score on a fly to right in the second. And then in the sixth a hit by Jerad Goldsmith, an error and a walk to Kyle Norman loaded the bases with no outs. But two strikeouts and an infield out followed. A glimmer of hope for the Panthers was Brandon Knoll pitching a scoreless inning of relief in the sixth after sitting out all of last year because an arm injury. Sam Solberg and Zimmer each had two hits for Princeton. Bloomington Vickers went the distance for Princeton and pitched well, manager Jules Zimmer said. He gave up 10 hits and struck out five. Bloomington led 3-0 in the fifth when the Panthers scored their first run on an error. The Panthers had a runner thrown out on the base paths in that inning, a harbinger of things to come. Bloomington added a run in the top of the seventh and it proved to be a big one. Carling’s single scored Jordan Neubauer and Kyle Norman with one out in the bottom of the seventh to make it 4-3. Then, with two outs, Solberg singled for the fourth time in the game but Carling was thrown out at third by the right fielder. The Panthers had eight hits and left seven runners on base. (No box scores available for the tournament games.)