Fielding mistakes in the seventh inning proved costly for Gaylord’s Islanders last Tuesday. They coughed up a lead in the frame and eventually watched their season end with a 7-3 loss at Fairfax.
Mike Walsh’s Gaylord squad led 3-1 heading into the seventh inning. But, Fairfax rattled off six runs on four hits and three Islanders errors.
“The wheels fell off in the seventh inning and we couldn’t recover,” Walsh said. “But, I’m proud of the way the guys hung in there as they have done all season long.”
Gaylord, which beat Fairfax in the first round of the playoffs a week earlier, grabbed a lead in the fourth inning. Trevor Vaubel, Jon Waltz and Brad Walsh led off the fourth frame with singles and all three players scored. Justin Rettmann added a run scoring single in the at-bat.
Fairfax answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kevin Erdal worked a two-out walk for the Cardinals and scored on a Clobes double.
Gaylord had an opportunity to extend its lead in the top of the seventh inning. But, Fairfax recorded one out at home plate and the Islanders stranded two other baserunners in scoring position.
The defensive stop apparently gave the Cardinals a bit of momentum as they took control with a six run rally in the bottom of the seventh frame. And all six runs scored with two outs.
It appeared a fielding error wouldn’t be costly as Gaylord had two outs on the board. But, the next five Fairfax batters would reach safely and eventually score. Back-to-back doubles by Buboltz and Loverude ignited the Cardinals rally. Gaylord then committed two more errors before Clobes capped the flurry with a home run.
“The seventh inning really took the wind out of our sails,” Walsh said. “We were cruising along pretty good and then it quickly slipped away. You can’t make that many defensive mistakes and expect to win.”
Gaylord’s offense went down rather quietly in its final two at-bats. Joey Barr singled in the ninth inning but was stranded at second base.
Rettmann led all Gaylord hitters in the setback with a pair of singles and an RBI. Walsh also knocked in a run for the Islanders.
Brian Winter suffered the mound loss. He allowed four runs, only one of which was earned, on eight hits. Winter struckout four and walked five in 6-2/3 innings of work.
Barr pitched in relief for Gaylord. He allowed three runs on two hits.
The loss ended the season for the Islanders who finish with a 4-22 record.
Fairfax was later bounced out of the playoffs by Winthrop. Arlington won the River Valley West playoffs. Winthrop finished runnerup and also advances to region play.