Not even camouflage uniforms could shield the Forest City Owls from a disastrous inning.
Gastonia used a 12-run second inning coupled with four Forest City errors to beat Forest City 15-7 Friday night at McNair Field.
Even with the poor performance, manager David Tufo remains positive.
"We swung the bats well enough to win,” he said. “We just had one really really bad inning sometimes that happens in baseball. The good thing is that we are still early in the second and we have time to catch back up.”
After both teams cruised the first inning, Owls (1-1 second half) pitcher Thomas Konrad ran into trouble in the second. After loading the bases with no outs, he walked Chris Houston to force in a run. That run was only the beginning of a nightmare inning for the Owls as the Grizzlies sent 17 men to the plate, registered 10 hits and plated 12 runs. Former Post 423 standout Danny Fragga collected two hits and three RBIs in the frame.
The Owls started to chip away at that lead in the bottom half. Forest City scored three runs with the help of two Gastonia errors. Jeff Revez and Jake Rowland garnered RBIs after Carl Wise doubled to lead off the frame.
Gastonia got those three runs right back in the third. Two more Owls errors greatly contributed to the runs, but Lucas Cash came in for the Owls and left tally 15-3.
Cash also kept the Grizzlies off the scoreboard in the fourth, but the Owls could not muster any offense.
The Owls threatened to change that in the fifth as Ty Barkell doubled with one out. A walk and an error loaded the bases. Hunter Bryant popped out and Matt Naldolski struck out to leave the tally at 15-3 at press time.
Noah Buettgen entered the fray for the Owls in the seventh and continued the string of good pitching for the Owls. He succeeded in keeping the Grizzlies off the scoreboard in the next two frames.
The Owls finally got back on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh. Nick McQuail singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. A single by Barkell put runners on the corners. Derrick Pitts followed with a sacrifice fly to left to cut the deficit to 15-4. After two were out, three consecutive Grizzly errors allowed three more runs to score. Thanks to the Grizzlies generosity, the Owls clawed back to 15-7.
Pinch hitter Nick Weybright led off the eighth with a single, but was left stranded.
Pitts also had a leadoff single in the final frame but he was also stranded as the game ended with a 15-7 final. Wise led the Owls going 3-5 on the night.
Forest City returns home to face Peninsula Monday.