The Alexandria Beetles made six errors and five pitchers combined to allow 13 runs Thursday night.
Sounds like an easy win for the Thunder Bay Border Cats.
The Cats blew an early 6-1 lead, rebounded to fight back from an 8-6 deficit, then wasted 12-10 ninth-inning advantage and a 13-12 lead in the 10th to drop their third straight Northwoods League contest, this one by a 14-13 count.
Josh Carpenter singled with runners on second and third to squeak out the win for the Beetles, and a loser out of Mitch McQueen, the sixth Border Cats pitcher of the night.
Thunder Bay was off and running in the third, a two-run single by James Bonds scoring the first two of three runs the Cats would score in the inning, a total they also matched in the fourth.
But with starter Matt Cooper appearing to be sailing, the fifth inning arrived and knocked him out of commission.
Cooper loaded the bases, surrendered a run and then gave way to Woody Nisbet, after loading the bases for the second time in the inning.
Nisbet promptly threw a wild pitch that plated two more. After a Matt Beaty single Nisbet’s day was done, giving way to Chad Richie, who entered with the bases loaded and five runs in. Richie hit Ryan Padilla to score another and Ryan Musgrove walked, bringing home the seventh Beetles run of the night and an 8-6 Alexandria Lead.
But the Cats responded immediately in the sixth, Cory Kay and James Bonds scoring on a Scott Donley single.
They added a run in the seventh and three more in the top of the eighth to go up 12-8, but Wes Parson, brought in to hold the lead, instead was victimized for two runs and pulled for Josh Guerra, who set down the side and gave the Cats a 12-10 lead heading home.
The ninth was no better.
Johnny Tolson’s run-scoring single pulled the Beetles to within a run and Jimmy Pickens completed the comeback with a single to second that scored Carpenter.
Not one to give up, the Border Cats loaded the bases with none out in the 10th, but could only manage one run on Phillip Lyons grounder.
McQueen was ineffective as a closer, though an error by SS Brett Kay that put leadoff hitter Guerra on didn’t help. Dylan Raper singled, the Jared Musgrove sacrificed the two runners to second and third respectively, setting up Carpenter for the winning hit.
Alex Guilford, the last man standing out of the Alexandria bullpen, struck out Bonds and Luke Willis to end the game.
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