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Generals slug Crawford, 6-1

May 15, 2019
One inning. One big inning. That was all the visiting Clarksville Generals needed to upend the Crawford County Wolfpack last Wednesday afternoon in a 6-1 loss to a potential sectional opponent. The Wolfpack had just come off a big 21-8 win over Evansville Bosse a few nights before, but they struggled against the Generals.

Crawford County's Max Murphy goes high for the ball as Clarksville's Webster Walls slides in for a stolen base. Photo By Wade Bell
"We played pretty well except for one inning in the field," Crawford County coach Isaac Bowles said. "It's like I told the kids, whenever you have all the time in the world and you rush to make the play and that's where the error happens, that shows that you are not ready for the play. Instinct takes over and you had no idea it was coming, so you just react. That shows you weren't ready for the play to begin with, because you're freaking out about it."

The Generals put two runners on in the top of the first inning. Jacob Cummings was hit by a pitch but was forced out on a fielder's choice when Clayton Christie hit a grounder to Christian Carlton at second base. Christie stole second and later took third. Devon Waxler was then hit by a pitch. Both runners were left on, however, as Joey Stamper flied out.

After Crawford County went three up and down in the bottom of the inning, the Generals lit up the sky with a barrage of hits. Dee Shelton and Ashton Lilly started the inning with back-to-back singles. Wade Hall reached first on an error to load the bases. A second error with Austin Grant batting proved even costlier as the bases emptied and Grant reached second.

Cummings then singled and stole second as Grant moved to third. Christie lifted a fly to center field to score Grant on the tag. Walls was hit by a pitch, and, with two outs and Stamper at the plate, Crawford County erred again, allowing Christie and Walls to score for a 6-0 lead.

"It's just really disappointing because the things that we do every day in practice, we're still not making the plays in the field," Bowles said. "When you have five errors, it's really hard to win a ballgame, especially when you don't have your ace on the mound. You're depending on those plays to pitching to contact and making the plays. We're not going to strike a ton of people out. That's really hard to come back from."

Crawford County, however, tried hard to come back. Preston Coleman singled in the bottom of the inning, went to second on a Noah Talley grounder and tried to advance to third. That didn't go so well, however, as Coleman was tagged a full step in front of the base.

Both teams left two runners stranded in the third inning without converting and there were no runs scored in the fourth.

Clarksville threatened in the fifth, loading the bases, but the Crawford County defense held.

The next run didn't come till the bottom of the seventh when Crawford County finally got on the board. With one out, Coleman ripped a triple. Then, with two outs, Dalton Stout hit a shot for a double that scored Coleman. Reese Sturgeon followed with a single to move Stout to third. It ended there, however, as Carlton hit into a fielder's choice, with Clarksville getting the 6-1 win.

"They scored all their runs in one inning," Bowles said. "We had five errors tonight. It's hard to talk about hitting and offense whenever you give them six runs right off the bat. We plunked three batters and had four errors all in that same inning, and you're going to lose. It doesn't matter who you're playing. It doesn't matter if it's a team that's won four games or a team that's won nine games, you're going to lose the game."

Crawford County finished with five hits, with Coleman getting two of those, but that was matched with the five errors. The Wolfpack threw two pitchers for five strikeouts, one walk and three hit batters. Crawford County left five runners on base.

"We reacted very fast and freaked out and just kind of rushed to it rather than taking our time and making the play," Bowles said of the errors. "Those are the kinds of things that are frustrating for me because I try to give them as many games as I can to be in these situations, and they just weren't ready for those plays. In that moment, you've got to take some responsibility at some point and really focus in and be ready for the play."

Clarksville finished with eight hits, with Grant getting two. Shelton struck out four Crawford County batters and hit three. The Generals had no errors and left seven runners on base.

Bowles said he didn't think the loss was a setback for his team before next week's sectional.

"I actually feel really good about our potential," he said. "A lot of our swings, we had a pretty big batting practice yesterday. Our swings were fine. We got five hits. We're just not getting timely hits. Obviously, you want a few more, but sometimes you hit it hard and they make the play."

"We can play with anybody," Bowles said. "We are just as good as anybody to win the thing in a couple of weeks, but only if we're making routine plays. That's the team that's going to win. If you make routine plays in the field, it's going to come to fruition on the offensive end. And that's the thing that these guys really have to lock in and realize."

Clarksville 060 000 0 - 6 8 0

Crawford County 000 000 1 - 1 5 5

W-Shelton. P-Talley. 1B-Shelton (Cn), Lilly (Cn), Grant (Cn) 2, Cummings (Cn), Coleman (CC), Hall (Cn), Carlton (CC), Walls (Cn), Christie (Cn), Sturgeon (CC); 2B-Stout (CC); 3B-Coleman (CC). Records-Cannelton 10-11, Crawford County 9-9.

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