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Wolfpack stay in PLAC race

May 20, 2009
The Crawford County Wolfpack baseball team kept their Patoka Lake Athletic Conference title hopes alive Thursday afternoon with an 11-1, five-inning mauling of visiting Springs Valley. Crawford has just one PLAC loss, but still needs help to secure a championship.

"We needed to keep pace with Perry (Central)," Crawford County coach Greg Gogel said. "We have one (game) left with Mitchell, and Perry will have both Paoli and Springs Valley. We have to keep pace with them, and, hopefully, get some help, but we've got to take care of our business first and foremost."

Crawford County’s Jonathon Bowles gets a face full of dirt and glove when he is tagged out by Springs Valley pitcher Cody Brothers at home. Photo by Wade Bell
The Wolfpack scored multiple runs in four of the five innings. In the first inning, two Valley errors allowed the first Crawford County run, then Seth Lindauer singled later to score C.J. Shelton for a 2-0 lead.

In the second inning, Crawford County sent 10 batters to the plate to score three runs. Jesse Allen and Jonathon Bowles both singled following a one-out Ethan Smith walk, with Bowles' hit scoring Smith. Travis Mauck walked to load the bases, and Shelton singled to score Allen. A third walk, this one to Casey Benham, loaded the bases again for Lindauer, who singled to bring Shelton home for a 5-0 lead.

"Whenever we tried to be aggressive, we could," Gogel said. "Whenever we tried to be aggressive, it happened to work out in our favor. It really put some pressure on them. I was happy with that."

Crawford County collected two more runs in the third inning for a 7-0 lead.

Valley finally got on the board in the fourth inning. Cody Brothers singled and stole second base. Brothers tried for third and got caught in a rundown, but a mental mistake by the Wolfpack allowed Brothers to advance. Logan Partenheimer grounded out, but Brothers came home to cut the lead to 7-1.

"We're a few strides away from a great program, but we're close to being a good program," Gogel said, noting his team has a couple of small things on which it needs to improve.

Crawford County's big inning came in the bottom of the fifth. Isaac Bowles looped a single and stole second. Smith grounded out, but Bowles advanced to third. Jonathon Bowles then walked and got a pass to second base. Allen then ripped a double to score both runners for a 9-1 lead.

Allen went to third on a wild pitch, and then, with two outs, a Valley error allowed Shelton to take second base and Allen to score. Benham then ripped a liner to Tanner Land, who dropped the ball, allowing Shelton to score for the 11-1 win.

"We played very well coming off a loss last night against Clarksville," Gogel said. "Our bats came alive. We got really strong pitching out of Casey. He usually takes a little bit to get going, but he did a really nice job locating and mixing pitches and everything else like that."

The Wolfpack finished with eight hits, led by Allen's three and Lindauer's two. Benham, from the mound, struck out eight Blackhawk batters and walked just one. Crawford County committed just one error.

"The more consistent the weather is, the more consistent we are," he said. "We've been playing lately, and our record's been a lot better. There's a lot of stuff there yet we can improve upon. We'll need to keep on progressing with our final six games left. I want to be on an upswing going into sectional rather than like last year, when we topped out towards the middle."

Valley finished with just two hits and used three pitchers, who tallied two strikeouts and six walks. The Blackhawks made six errors.

Crawford County's four remaining games are at home, and Gogel said good turnouts this year have helped the team's confidence.

"It's nice to be at home, because I think we're getting a strong turnout at every home game this year from the fans at Crawford, and that's amazing," he said. "I've talked to other people and that's not always been here. I've got to thank them for giving us a lot of support. It extends beyond just parents and on to other fans, so it's nice to have it here. I think if they come here, they'll follow us on the road for sectional."

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