Errors, poor hitting and the pretty great, Great Falls Dodgers continued to plague the slumping Salt Lake Trappers Saturday night as they dumped a doubleheader to run their losing streak to five games in a row - all to the Dodgers.
In the doubleheader, the Traps committed six errors and struck out 21 times while leaving 13 runners on base, much the same story as Friday night's loss - times two.And the Trappers, 33-21, who have yet to beat the Pioneer League's leading team this season, must play the 39-14 Dodgers twice more - this afternoon at 1:30 and again Monday night in Derks Field. They have already fallen a game behind Butte in the Southern Division.
Saturday night, with 8,838 watching a twinbill necessitated by Thursday's rainout at Great Falls, the Dodgers took the first game 4-2, with help from three Trapper errors, and they took the second game 10-5, thanks to three more Trapper errors in an eight-run fifth inning that wiped out what had been a 4-1 Trapper lead.
The double-dip loss enabled the home team to tie its longest losing streak in the last three years.
In the nightcap, Salt Lake again had a promising start as it led off with a three-run first. A two-RBI double by Tommy Boyce was the big reason, and the Trappers added single runs in the third and fifth, but they left seven runners on base, and that left the door open for the Dodgers, who've overcome Trapper leads in all three games at Derks.
Through the first four innings, Great Falls had only one run, thanks to a Trapper error and a sacrifice fly.
But an infield hit by the extremely speedy Jose Offerman, the shortstop in one of the smoothest infields the Pioneer League has seen in years, started things off. The league stolen base leader took No. 43 of the season and went to third on a catcher's throwing error.
Ernie Carr - who had four hits and three RBI for the night after sitting out the opener - brought him in with a single. A walk and two-run triple by Chris Morrow were followed by a two-base error in center field, an Eric Boddie double, an infield single and an error to bring up Carr for the second time in the inning. He hit another RBI single to push across run No. 8 of the inning.
Carr also drove in a run in the seventh when Offerman doubled in front of him.
For the doubleheader, Offerman had four hits in eight tries, and Trapper Kerry Shaw had three hits in seven tries. Salt Lake's Tim McKercher hit three times and had two RBI in the second game but was 0 for 3 in the first.
Twelve Trappers struck out in the second game, seven against No. 1 Los Angeles draft pick Bill Bene, the winner, and five against James Wray.
In the first game, Jeff Hartsock struck out nine in going the distance. The Trappers - the visitors because the rainout was in Great Falls - led off with Pat Waid's double and a two-run opposite-field homer by Shaw, but that was all they could score.
Great Falls used a throwing error at shortstop to put Offerman on, and he stole his 41st and 42nd bases of the season. A walk put Eddy Pyue on base, a sacrifice fly plated Offerman and Brett Magnusson's double scored Pye to tie it 2-2.
Another Trapper error in the second inning scored Jeff Herman with the winning run. Herman singled and moved to second on an Offerman hit.
Bill Wenrick (6-2) took the loss, and Hartsock (6-2) was the winner.
TRAPPER NOTES - Trapper second baseman Kelly Zane continues to be the leading hitter in the Pioneer League. His .430 batting average going into Saturday's first game was .0429 ahead of second-place Ben Colvard of Billings. Kerry Shaw of the Trappers (.362) was seventh in the league as of Saturday. Mando Verdugo, with 12 home runs, was tied with Oreste Marrero of Helena for the league lead, and Greg Ehmig (11) was tied for third. Verdugo's 49 RBI were third in the league. In pitching, Willie Ambos, with seven wins, and Mike Gibbons, with eight saves, were both second.