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Pitching woes plague Renegades again in 20-9 loss to Griffons

Pitching woes plague Renegades again in 20-9 loss to Griffons

July 11th, 2018 by Jason Strickland in College Sports

Mike Million is greeted by Renegades teammate Tyler Bracht after hitting a solo home run during Tuesday night's game against Nevada at Vivion Field.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

Just about everyone got a turn on the mound the past two days for the Jefferson City Renegades. It's been a busy couple days for the scoreboard operator at Vivion Field.

After using six arms in a 19-15 loss Monday, five more players pitched in Tuesday's 20-9 loss in eight innings to the Nevada Griffons.

"We've got to figure some things out," Renegades coach Mike DeMilia said. "The potential is there to do some things, but right now we just don't have confidence. We can't throw strikes. We've got to figure out who our guys are. We've got to figure it out now."

Chris Sheputis, who had only allowed one run in 11 innings of relief before Tuesday, struggled to keep the ball down during his first start of the season.

Nevada collected five hits and six runs against Sheputis, who walked three and hit another in two-plus innings.

"He struggled today," DeMilia said. "Every pitcher is going to struggle from time to time. He's been good the whole year. It just happens."

Ty Jones, Caleb Lasher, Jeremy Hidalgo and Quincy Jones each pitched in relief.

Lasher walked two but struck out one and didn't allow a hit in 1 innings.

"I thought Caleb Lasher actually came in a did a nice job," DeMilia said.

Jones made his first pitching appearance of the season in the eighth inning. He allowed one hit — a double by Lukas Polanco that bounced off the top of the fence in left-center field to drive in an unearned run — but got the Renegades out of the inning.

"He always came in as a pitcher, it's just really hard when he's in the lineup every day to get him on the mound," DeMilia said. "Numbers-wise we have plenty of pitchers. It was just the perfect scenario. We have talked about it and he's been throwing some bullpens."

While the Griffons scored in all but three innings, the Renegades got the most production in one inning.

Marquise Doherty began the five-run fourth with a sacrifice fly.

Three batters later, Mike Million crushed his second home run of the night to left-center field for two more runs.

Jones added a two-RBI double that bounced over the first baseman to cut Nevada's lead to 10-6.

Million's first home run was a solo shot to left field in the third. Million, who entered the game batting .214, has six hits in the past three games.

"He's relaxing I think," DeMilia said. "Both home runs I thought he swung really easy. He likes to over-swing a little bit. He's trying to hit the ball hard, which is great, but he's got so much natural ability he's just got to get the barrel to the ball and he did that tonight.

"I even saw it in BP today that he was just nice an easy and hit four or five out. I kind of felt like he was going to have a good night."

Jones matched Million's three RBI by singling up the middle in the sixth to make it 13-7.

Nevada added three runs in the seventh and four in the eighth to end the game by run-rule.

Six players recorded three hits for the Griffons, including Connor Gage who had a three-run home run in the third on his way to six RBI.

Polanco had five RBI and Ben Palenski added four.

The good news for the Renegades, who are three games behind Nevada in the South Division with a 15-17 MINK League record, is they have the next two days off before playing Friday at Chillicothe.

"We need it," DeMilia said. "We've played 13 in a row. There's no doubt our guys need it."