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Wolfpack maul Orleans, 7-1

June 02, 2010
The Crawford County baseball team allowed visiting Orleans just three hits as the Wolfpack devoured the Bulldogs, 7-1, in their last regular game of the season on Senior Night before the sectional at Mitchell.

Crawford County’s Isaac Bowles takes flight as he dives under Orleans shortstop Trey Bradley for a stolen base in the fourth inning of the Wolfpack’s 7-1 win. Photo by Wade Bell
"It was good because it's the last time we're going to be at home this year," Crawford County coach Greg Gogel said. "The guys really went out on a positive note. (Seniors) Jonathon (Bowles) and Zachary (Allen) deserve every bit of it. Their teammates really rallied around them."

It at first looked to be a close game as neither team scored in the opening inning and then matched each other, with one run apiece, in the second, with the Bulldogs' tally coming courtesy of a Wolfpack error. With two runners on base, Crawford County pitcher Ethan Smith prevented further damage by striking out Kyle Bostic.

Both teams blanked in the third, and Orleans failed to score again in the fourth. The Wolfpack, however, scored in the next three innings.

In the bottom of the fourth, with one out, Seth Lindauer got some help from an Orleans error. Jonathon Bowles followed with a single, and, after both runners advanced on a passed ball, Smith ripped a two-run double for a 3-1 Crawford County lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, Orleans put Jarrett Jones on the mound, but Crawford County continued its scoring, letting loose with another barrage. With one out, Eric Harned singled. He then broke up a likely double play when C.J. Shelton hit an infield grounder. Then, with the hit-and-run on, Lindauer singled again, and Shelton advanced to third. Bowles then stretched a single into a double to score both runners as Crawford County's lead ballooned to 5-1.

"We've come around," Gogel said. "I don't think we did early. They've been tough outs for everybody."

In the bottom of the sixth, Allen drew a two-out walk. Harned and Shelton then hit back-to-back doubles, with the latter scoring Allen and Harned for a 7-1 lead.

In the top of the seventh inning, Jones walked and Gogel made a quick pitching change, bring in Shelton. The change worked as Shelton struck out the next two batters and Scott Gowin flied out to left field to end the game. The 7-1 win improved the Wolfpack's record to 18-6.

"We are on a heck of a run," Gogel said. "I try not to look at it because it's kind of superstitious for me. The bottom line is you just want to be playing good baseball. Win or lose, you want to keep on playing good baseball and give yourself a chance. Those guys have done a really good job."

Lindauer, Ethan Smith, Bowles and Harned had two hits each for the Wolfpack, who as a team collected 11, including four for extra bases. From the mound, Smith tallied five strikeouts and two walks, while Shelton had two strikeouts. The Wolfpack committed two errors and left six runners on base.

"The last time we were beat we were at Southridge because we lacked the passion," Gogel said. "Tonight and on this stretch run here, the kids have been really, really emotional in the fact they want each other to succeed and are willing to make adjustments and have invested themselves into this. It's fun to be around. It's a fun team to be around."

Eli Mathers had two of Orleans' three hits. Hurler Steve Jacobs tallied two strikeouts, while Jones, in relief, walked a batter. Orleans made two errors and left five runners on base.

Gogel said his two seniors — Allen, who had four catches in center field, including one diving catch, and Bowles, who stretched his second hit into a double — demonstrated the things it takes to win a sectional.

"Those small things will win you sectionals," Gogel said. "You win it by stretching a single to a double. You take the extra bag. All those little things. You go from first to third then score. If you pick and choose and you execute whenever you have a chance, those win you sectionals. If you're tough outs at the plate and you can execute and do some things like that, it makes you tough to beat."

Gogel said, however, his team still needs some fine-tuning.

"We've got to be able to load for the fast ball," he said. "I tell them that a hundred times in the game, and then we've got to be able to adjust for the off-speed. If we get behind on the curve ball and he comes back with it again, we've got the be able to load for that fastball but stay locked so we can load for that curve ball. We don't want to get down on an 0-2 strike count.

"So, we're going to work on some off-speed stuff but not losing our routine on what we are. We're going to try to hit the fastballs."

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