LORAIN — Former New York Yankees great Yogi Berra could sum up the first three games of the Lorain County Ironmen’s homestand with his signature phrase: “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
Manager Joe Rhomberg watched his team follow a familiar script Wednesday. They fell behind early and by the time the bats came alive the deficit was too big to overcome in an 11-2 loss to Butler at The Pipe Yard.
The BlueSox batted around in the third inning, scoring five runs off Lorain County starter Ben Standiford. In their previous two games the Ironmen (11-18) trailed by scores of 7-0 and 3-0 before the end of the second inning.
“You never want to be down that much, that early in the game, but at least tonight I felt like Butler earned it,” Rhomberg said. “Standiford just lost his focus for a minute in the third inning and overadjusted up in the (strike) zone and the Butler hitters took advantage.”
Meanwhile, Butler starter Mitch Patishall had the Ironmen’s bats under complete lockdown. Patishall retired 14 of the first 15 hitters before Kyle Chontos doubled with two outs in the fifth inning, the first of Chontos’ two hits.
In the eighth inning Chontos scored the first Lorain County run, scoring from third on a bases-loaded single by No. 9 hitter Addison Rospert.
Lorain County has lost four in a row and is already three games behind the BlueSox in the second-half standings.
“The second half of the season the hitters usually catch up to the pitching and you see more balls hit hard and a lot less strikeouts,” Rhomberg said. “Now the pitchers all across the league have to adjust and almost relearn how to get hitters out again.”
Standiford allowed nine runs, eight of which were earned, and 10 hits over 6⅓ innings. Canadian Jamie MacLean pitched 1⅔ shutout innings of relief before giving way to Jake Hall, who gave up two runs in the top of the ninth to a Butler team that improved to 18-13.
Lorain County surrendered a season-high 11 runs for the fourth time this season.
“We’ve got to do a better job of staying in games,” Rhomberg said. “It’s all part of a learning process for the young players. The coach in me wants to give every pitcher advice on how to pitch to every hitter, but you only get one trip to the mound an inning. We go over the opposing hitters before the game but once the game starts everyone is always making adjustments.”
Designated hitter Cody Herald, a Butler native, had a big night for the BlueSox. He went 4-for-5 with hits in his final four at-bats. He also drove in three runs and scored a run. Then in the ninth inning he went to the mound to record the final three outs.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO: Lorain County Ironmen vs. Danville Dans
WHERE: The Pipe Yard, Lorain