THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Border Cats bats came to life on Monday night, but it wasn’t enough to stop the team’s losing slide.
The Cats banged out 11 hits on the road against the St. Cloud Rox, but a fifth-inning miscue cost the struggling ball club, who went on to drop a 5-3 decision, their fourth straight defeat.
Starter Jayden Metz was leading 2-1 disaster struck with one out in the fifth.
The 20-year-old right-hander issued back-to-back walks Ryan Weisenberg and Ryan Davis, before giving
Way to reliever Connor Fabing.
After Fabing loaded the bases with a third straight walk, Rylan Kerr reached on a Billy Cook erro, plating both Weienberg and Davis to put the Rox ahead 3-2.
Ricardo Sanchez followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Connor Aube and the Rox took a 4-2 lead.
St .Cloud added one more in the fifth off Fabing.
The Cats took the lead twice in the contest, played before 1,003 fans.
Mark Vierling trotted home on Cook’s one-out sacrifice fly in the first for a 1-0 advantage. Thunder Bay jumped in front again in the top of the fifth, Vierling singling home Ben McConnell, ending starter Zack Lauzon’s night.
Metz, who surrendered just two hits and three walks through four-and-a-third, took the loss. Reliever Sean Hupp took over from Lauzon and was credited with the win, allowing four hits in 2.2 innings out of the bullpen.
The Cats slipped back into the Northwoods League North Division basement, tied with Eau Claire at 4-10. The Rox climbed back to .500 at 7-7.
Thunder Bay returns home on Tuesday for a single-game home-stand against cross-border rival Duluth, then hits the road for three more before returning home on Saturday to host the Rochester Honkers.