Trapper Fred Riscen and Dodger Eric Karros have been facing off against each other in different parts of the country since they were 15 years old playing in a Colt League regional tournament in Kansas. Later, they met in college in Los Angeles.
"Either he strikes me out, or I hit a home run," says Karros.Riscen agreed, saying he'd gotten about four strikeouts against Karros and Karros had gotten about four homers off of him.
"He can get me out as good as anybody," said Karros. "He's not afraid to challenge hitters.
"Today, I got the best of him," Karros noted.
Sunday, Karros hit Riscen for two solo home runs in consecutive at-bats - his first was followed on the next pitch by a homer from Brett Magnussen - as Great Falls got the better of the Trappers for the sixth straight game.
Great Falls downed Salt Lake 4-1 in an afternoon game at Derks Field.
The series winds up tonight, and if the Traps don't win, they'll go winless for the season against the Pioneer League's No. 1 team, which has now won 10 straight.
They have already set the franchise record for consecutive losses, although in Sunday's game they showed signs of snapping out of their slump despite leaving 12 runners on base and making two more errors, both on pickoff tries.
"I'm real sorry we've lost six in a row. I'm dying out there," said Trapper Manager Barry Moss. "I apologize to the fans in Salt Lake. But we're playing the best we can, and, if anything, we're pressing to win."
"We played better," said Riscen. "We just didn't hit, although we hit better later (in the game). Every team hits places like this - just a dead spot. We've got to fight through it."
Riscen said the Trappers had been tense through the last several games but were looser Sunday, and that showed in better fielding throughout the game.
Moss added, "The pitching was very strong, and Fred hung in as well as he could."
The Dodger pitching was better. Mike James went 32/3 innings without giving up a hit and left after 6 2/3 innings with five hits and a run against him.
"I didn't really think about it," James said of his no-hitter, "until the umpire told me it was the first hit."
That was a single by Tim McKercher with two out in the fourth.
Jon Braase and Cam Biberdorf finished the final 2 1/3 innings for the Dodgers, allowing one hit each. Braase snuffed a Trapper promise with bases loaded when he got the third out of the seventh inning with one pitch.
"We almost got the big hits," said Moss. "A break or two would have won it."
Karros got his first RBI of the game when leadoff man Eddy Pye singled, stole second and scored on his single in the first. Then he ripped a two-out, third-inning fastball over the left-field fence, and so did Magnussen on the next pitch. Karros got his second homer in the fifth, again with two outs.
"The second time, I threw at his head to get him off the plate," Riscen said. He was more impressed with Magnussen's blast on a pitch that was down and away. "I don't know how he hit that," Riscen said.
The Traps finally got to James in the seventh when Kelly Zane doubled with two out and Kerry Shaw singled him in. That hit increased Shaw's hitting streak to 18 games.
Tommy Boyce singled and Mando Verdugo walked behind Shaw to chase James, but McKercher grounded out against Braase.