MADISON TOWNSHIP — Madison couldn’t get out of its own way Tuesday afternoon and Lexington took advantage.
The Minutemen parlayed a pair of Madison errors and a bad-hop single into six unearned runs in the fourth inning and cruised to a 9-0 win in Ohio Cardinal Conference action at Madison.
“They helped us out a little bit. They had some rough-going there and we made them pay for the mistakes,” Lex coach Kevin Morrow said. “That could have been a lot closer. It could have been a 2-0 game or a 3-0 game.”
Madison starter Cole Applegate worked out of jams in the second and third innings to keep the game scoreless, but the sophomore right-hander couldn’t escape the fourth. The inning started off innocently enough but with two out and a man on second thanks to an error, the wheels fell off for the Rams (1-7, 0-3). Another error, a balk and four straight singles resulted in six runs.
“Our pitcher threw great. He was fantastic,” Madison coach Doug Rickert said. “We commit two errors in that inning and that’s just huge. It could be 0-0 at that point.”
The six runs were more than enough for Lex starter Jake Depperschmidt. The senior righty scattered five hits while striking out nine in six innings or work before giving way to Jack Kleinknecht in the seventh.
“He’s had two good outings in a row,” Morrow said of the Ashland University-bound Depperschmidt. “He had a rough start, but he keeps the ball low and he’s hitting his spots.”
The Rams left 10 runners stranded, including seven in scoring position. Madison loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh but failed to score.
“Our swings aren’t bad. It’s not the swings,” Rickert said. “It’s the approach and it’s the confidence.
“A lot of times the kids will come back and say, ‘What am I doing wrong?’ It’s the pitch they are swinging at, not the mechanics.”
Kevan Grimm led the way for Lexington (4-4, 3-2) with three hits. Depperschmidt, Mitchell Sheets and Sam Maurer each had a pair of singles and Dylan Christman knocked in three runs.
“We’re still trying to figure it out,” Morrow said. “If we play defense like we did today, we shouldn’t have that much of a problem.”
Trenton Osborne led the youthful Rams with a pair of hits. Madison has only two seniors on the roster and started seven freshmen and sophomores Tuesday.
“I hate to say this, but we’re like a JV baseball team. We didn’t start a senior tonight,” Rickert said. “We’re not going to make excuses. … We have to continue to get better and gain some confidence.
“I’m real happy with some of our young kids. We’re coming, but we’ve got a long way to go.”