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Men's baseball: Coyotes swept by Snappers

With the season rounding third and heading toward home, the Cottage Grove Coyotes got a bit of a wake-up call on Sunday.

The second-place Snappers beat the division-leading Coyotes twice in a double-header on Sunday at Smothers Field in Crystal - 3-2 and 8-7. It was the first time Cottage Grove was swept this season.

The Coyotes play in the Twin City Men's Adult Baseball League and were league champions in 2010. Despite the losses, the Coyotes still sit in first place in the TCMABL 18-plus American Division, one game up on the Snappers (15-5). The Coyotes (15-3) have two games left in the regular season.

On Sunday, both games went into extra innings before the Coyotes ultimately fell.

In the opener, the Snappers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning before the Coyotes tied it up 2-2 in the top of the fourth. However, the Snappers won the game with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

After winning his first six starts of the year - all complete games - while allowing only two earned runs total, longtime Coyotes' ace Matt Ruben took his second-straight loss on the mound. Ruben went the distance, allowing two earned runs on seven hits, while striking out seven.

Snappers' pitcher Jared Carlson kept the Coyotes off-balance in the game, allowing just five hits. Cottage Grove's No. 2 hitter Steve Bahl led the way, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and Ruben went 1-for-2 with a walk, a run scored and a double.

In the second game of the day, Coyotes' pitcher Roger Morrison got beat up for the first time this season.

Morrison, who entered the game 8-0 with eight complete games in his eight starts, a 1.49 ERA and 0.99 WHIP got touched up for five earned runs on 10 hits and three walks by the Snappers. David Buckner made his first appearance of the season in relief of Morrison and took the loss, hitting two batters and allowing one hit in the top of the eighth inning.

In the game, the Snappers went ahead early - scoring two in the top of the first and one in the second for a 3-0 lead. However, the Coyotes struck back with four runs in the bottom of the second inning for a 4-3 lead. The Snappers tied the game 4-4 with a run in the top of the fourth, but Cottage Grove scored two run in the bottom of the fourth for a 6-4 lead. However, three runs by the Snappers in the top of the fifth made it a 7-6 game. Cottage Grove again tied it up in the bottom of the sixth, but the Snappers scored first in the extra frame and held on for the win.

Coyotes' No. 9 hitter Joe Paul led the way offensively for Cottage Grove, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored and an RBI. Also, Buckner went 3-for-3 with a double, two walks and two RBI and Bahl was 2-for-4 with a steal, a run scored and two RBI.

Next, Cottage Grove wraps up the regular season on Sunday, Aug. 11, back at the friendly confines of Woodridge Park where they'll take on the Tigers (9-10). First game is at 10 a.m. with the second game starting immediately after the first game is over.

Patrick Johnson
Patrick Johnson has been the South Washington County Bulletin’s sports editor since 2008. He reports on and oversees coverage of high school and amateur sports in south Washington County and Woodbury. Prior to joining the Bulletin, Johnson worked for other Twin Cities suburban newspapers. He is a University of Minnesota graduate.
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