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Sundlie's glove again shines in center, but miscues costly for Ozark in loss to Republic

OZARK'S CASH MORGAN beats a pick-off attempt versus Republic on Wednesday.
OZARK'S CASH MORGAN beats a pick-off attempt versus Republic on Wednesday.

Brock Sundlie added to his increasingly impressive highlight reel in center field. But for the second time in as many days, miscues factored largely in Ozark dropping a COC contest.

Ozark suffered a 7-5 setback at the hands of Republic on Wednesday in a contest that was picked up from where it was suspended due to rain seeral weeks ago.

Republic held a 4-3 lead with two runners on base and no one out in the fourth inning when the game resumed.

An Ozark fielding error in the fourth and a wild throw in the sixth gave Republic two of its three runs Wednesday.

“We aren’t playing a clean game, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” said coach Justin Sundlie, who saw three errors cost Ozark in a 2-1 loss to Willard on Tuesday. “That’s the demon we’re fighting right now.”

Brock Sundlie and Brock Dodd both responded well to the unique contest. Wednesday’s action took only a full hour to complete the game.

Sundlie robbed a Republic hitter of at least a double with a running, back-handed catch at the warning track in left-center in the seventh inning.

“I knew I was going to have to take off if I was going to have a chance at it,” Sundlie said. “I was going to have to forget about the wall if I wanted to catch it. I knew (the wall) was coming, but decided I had to not care about it.”

“Credit to him for making that catch. A lot of outfielders don't make that catch,” said Dodd, who was in left field. “We really needed that catch at that point, so I made the decision that if he was going to run into the wall, he was going to have to and take it like a man. I didn't really communicate with him about the wall.”

"I don't know if there's another kid around who makes that catch,” Justin Sundlie said. “He was playing in and probably ran 40 yards to get to that ball. He's a great center fielder, I don't know another way to say it.”

Brock Sundlie and Dodd helped Ozark make a comeback bid in the seventh. Both of them doubled, as the hosts scored twice. But that’s as far as the rally went.

"We decided we were going to come out aggressive and try to punch them in the mouth,” Dodd said. “The cards didn't fall right for us. But I felt like we came out decent.”

Brady Dodd took the loss without stepping on the mound Wednesday. He pitched the first three-plus innings and finished allowing five runs.

Gage Depee threw the final four innings and allowed only one earned run.

It was another solid relief outing for Depee, who has six saves on the season.

“Every time he comes in, it matters and you know what you're going to get from him,” Justin Sundlie said.  "He comes in and throws multiple pitches for strikes. It takes a certain mentality to pitch in the back end of games and he's got it. He's extremely competitive. I love the kid to death.”

Ozark (11-10 overall and 2-3 in the COC) is at Webb City today.