Owls baffled by Gastonia, 9-2
Forest City’s shortstop Nick Weybright committed three errors and the offense struggled against Ethan Stieble who only surrendered four hits in seven innings of work.
As a result the Owls dropped a 9-2 contest to Gastonia Monday. With the loss Forest City drops to 13-29 on the year and lose the Silver Cup to the Grizzlies.
Even though the Owls are still mathematically alive for a playoff appearance, their hopes take a major hit. If they fail to secure a bid, it will be the first time in team history without a postseason appearance.
After Gastonia struck for an unearned run in the top of the first, Grizzly pitcher Ethan Steible quickly retired the side. The Owls did mount a two-out threat in the second as James Threw singled and Carl Wise followed with a double down the left field line. Nick Weybright struck out, however, to end the threat.
The game then settled down into a pitcher’s duel. Steible did not allow another hit through five frames, while Forest City hurler Noah Buttgen got some help from his defense. A pair of 6-4-3 double plays kept the score at 1-0 after five innings.
Gastonia broke the game open in the sixth. Danny Fragga was plunked with the bases loaded to make the tally 2-0. Weybright then booted a ball at short, allowing two runs to score. Kane Barrow followed with a high pop up to right field. Derrick Pitts lost the ball in the lights and two more runs scored. Buttgen was then lifted for Cole Lee who garnered a groundout to end the inning
Steible remained superb on the hill as he limited the Owls to a pair of hits during that stretch. Kendall Keaton was erased on an unusual 9-4-6 double play and Threw was thrown out trying to steal to leave the score at 6-0
The home team made a bid to dent the scoreboard in the seventh, putting runners on the corners with two outs. But Weybright’s struggles continued as he struck out swinging to leave the score at 6-0.
Spencer Bryant worked a scoreless eighth and the Owls put runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom half Hunter Bryant came through with a two run double off the left field wall to cut the deficit to 6-2
Bryant ran into trouble in the ninth, as he walked to batters to start the inning. Weybright committed his third error of the night and Fragga singled home two runs. That outburst made the score 9-2 . Jake Padgett came on and struck out the side but the damage was done as the Owls trailed by seven going into the final at bat.
Threw did lead off with a hit but was erased on a double play. Weybright then grounded out to end the game