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Seven Ozark errors lead to 14-run, five-inning loss at the hands of Kickapoo


SPRINGFIELD —  Twins Brady and Brock Dodd went through football season last fall relatively unscathed, but both have been injured only two weeks into baseball season this spring.

After Brock suffered a broken hand on the first day of Ozark’s practices, Brady twisted an ankle during the Tigers’ 15-1, five-inning loss to Kickapoo on Monday.

With Brady playing second base, he leaped to catch a high throw as a Chiefs baserunner swiped second. Dodd injured his ankle upon landing on the baserunner.

The heel of my foot landed on his leg and I rolled over on (the ankle),” said Dodd, who stayed in the game but was walking with a limp afterward. “I’m sure it will be all right.”

Brock is progressing and the Tigers should have him back sometime in April.

He'll have the chance to come back,” Brady said. “He's looking to go back to the doctor in a couple weeks. I'm sure he'll be ready to go by then. 

It's kind of funny how it works,” he added while pondering the irony of getting hurt in baseball and staying healthy in football. “We'll get healed up and be back as soon as possible.”

Coach Justin Sundlie is glad his Tigers (4-2) are back at it again today at home versus Marshfield.

“I’m glad it’s not like football and we have to wait a week to play again,” Sundlie said.

The Tigers were guilty of more errors than they had hits. They committed seven errors, while totaling five hits, all singles. Their only run was unearned.

Kickapoo nearly finished off Ozark in three innings, but led 14-0 after three frames and thus was one run shy of the 15-run rule.

Sundlie relieved starting pitcher Gage Depee after he threw 38 pitches.

We play defense like that and it doesn't matter who's pitching,” Sundlie said. “A good hitting team is going to take advantage and start pounding the ball. We really don't know how Gage pitched because we didn't play any defense behind him.”

Depee didn’t walk anyone.

“I love how he attacks the zone,” Sundlie said. “That's going to give you a chance to win, if you play defense.” 

Cooper Buvid led Ozark’s offense with a pair of hits. Andrew Bauer, making his first start as a designated hitter, ripped a single for his first varsity hit.

“He had a good hit in the gap,” Dodd said. “I was impressed for him stepping up like that.”

“Bauer has come back from a broken arm he suffered last year,” Sundlie said. “He did a good job handling everything today. That's taking advantage of an opportunity.”

The Tigers vow not to let Monday’s loss linger.

“You can't dwell on it, you have to move on,” Dodd said. “We believe we're a good team and we're going to keep working.”

“I’m very disappointed in how we came out today,” Sundlie said. “It was a snowball effect of us not being ready to play. That's probably more me than anything, not getting them ready to play. We'll look at making adjustments somehow, so we are ready to play in these big games. 

“There are things we've got to figure out and we will,” he added. “There is definitely no panic. But the things you have to do to be competitive we're not doing right now.”