Millersburg handles Wildcats

MILLERSTOWN – It’s hard to win when you commit eight errors. Throw in nine walks and

it is nearly impossible.

On Friday, the Greenwood baseball team paid dearly for those miscues in a 13-4 Tri-Valley League loss to Millersburg.

“We’ve been preaching about the freebies all year, and we lost the freebie battle again tonight,” first-year Greenwood coach Mark Sherman said. “However, we made some plays we had to make and our guys are young and are working hard to get better. I have seen progress (this season).”

The Indians wasted no time grabbing a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Ian Lloyd’s double to right plated two. Lloyd finished three-for-five with two doubles.

The Tribe might have had a much bigger inning had Wildcat catcher Tony Reed not gunned down a would-be stealer at second, and had Lloyd not strayed too far from second and been thrown out after his double.

Millersburg extended their lead to 4-0 as the Indians scored single runs in each of the next two frames despite not getting a hit in either.

The Wildcats cashed in on some Indian miscues in the bottom of the third to finally crack the score board. Brady Stover drew a one out walk and Josh Noll reached an error. Stover then came around to score when Indian pitcher Conner Keim’s throw to first went wild following Aaron Smith’s bunt.

The Indians added another unearned run in the fourth to restore the four-run cushion.

Then the ‘Cats clawed their way back into the game by putting up three runs in the bottom of the fourth. With two out and no one on, Dakota Weiss delivered a single, Josh Shuman reached on an error, and Mitch Taylor delivered an infield single on a ball deflected off the pitcher to score Weiss.

Three straight walks then chased Keim and left the Indians clinging to a 5-4 lead.

Millersburg head coach Corey Keim called on his fireman – Theodore Prince – to extinguish the Greenwood rally. Prince restored order by striking-out Josh Ferguson to end the threat and silencing the Wildcat bats the rest of the way, allowing only one hit in three and a third

scoreless while fanning five.

“(Prince) does a real nice job of utilizing his large frame,” Keim said. “He’s able to throw the ball in there and cause batters some problems, and we needed it right then because Greenwood did a nice job of capitalizing on some of our mistakes and they were knocking on the door and he slammed it shut.”

Wildcat starter Stover delivered a gutsy pitching performance (five innings, six runs, but only two earned) to keep his team in the game.

“Stover threw well. We had watch his pitch count though as he threw earlier in the week,” Sherman said.

The concern over the pitch count proved costly as the Indians torched the Wildcat bullpen for seven runs (four earned) in the final two innings to stretch the final count to 13-4.

Ethan Troutman’s two run single and Lloyd’s second double were the big blows in a four run sixth, while Conner Keim’s RBI triple highlighted a three-run seventh.