WEBB CITY, Mo. — The Bishop McGuinness (Okla.) Irish came into Webb City’s Chuck Barnes Field and spoiled both the Cardinals’ season opener and their first game under new head coach Andrew Doennig with a 4-2 win on Friday for the guests from Oklahoma City.
Bishop McGuinness scored three runs in the second and one in the third, a margin large enough to withstand Webb City’s two runs in the fifth and collect the first of two wins on the day for the Irish.
The Cardinals finished the day with eight hits, all singles, and left behind five runners while three other Webb City runners were thrown out on the bases.
For example, Bishop McGuinness center fielder Ben Corley caught a fly ball and fired a perfect strike to home to get McQuade Eilenstein out at the plate to end the second and leave Webb City scoreless in the meantime.
“A lot of first-game mistakes,” Doennig said. “Honestly, I probably made the three biggest mistakes of the game. Sending a kid home, it was probably a 50/50 deal, and I was pressing to get a run early in the game. A kid gets thrown out at third base going from first to third and probably should have stopped him. Another kid was miscommunication between he and I. He thought I was saying ‘Go’ and I was telling him ‘No.’
“A lot of those things are going to get cleaned up. They’ve played five or six games already, and this was our first.”
Eisenstein and Shaun Hunt led Webb City’s eight-hit attack with two each and William Hayes, Cy Darnell, Kaylor Darnell, and Kenley Hood combined for the other four with one hit each.
Hayes and Cy Darnell picked up RBI and Gage Chapman and Sam Weller scored the runs.
“I felt good about some at-bats,” Doennig said. “Obviously, this is how it is early in the year, you have some bad at-bats, you have some good ones, and you try and go from there. It wasn’t a great day to hit, but we had eight hits and we got to feel good about that.”
Kaylor Darnell took the loss with four runs (three earned) allowed on four hits over three innings with five strikeouts and one walk, while relievers Landon Fletcher and Hunter Shull each gave Webb City two scoreless innings in the middle and later portions of the contest.
Fletcher struck out three and Shull fanned two, and neither walked a batter during their four innings of work. They kept Webb City in the game and gave the Cardinals a chance to win.
“I thought our pitchers did pretty well holding them down for the most part,” Doennig said. “Kaylor probably didn’t have his best stuff, he didn’t do a great job of getting ahead early, but he battled back and kept guys at bay. Fletcher and Hunter Shull did a great job coming in relief, and that’s what we need from those guys…come in and get outs.”
The Cardinals, 0-1 overall, return to action Saturday on the road against Rogersville.
“I’ve said this a lot,” Doennig said. “I’m not a believer in scheduling easy opponents and whatnot. Tough games are going to benefit you in the long run. This is a tough first game for us and it’s not going to get any easier (Saturday). We’re going to play Rogersville. They’re always good, extremely well-coached, and I know their kids are going to be ready to play. We’re going to have to show up ready to play. It’s going to be another cold one.”