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Clark blanks Raiders; Wildcats win 6-0

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Cats fall to Collins, Nelson

By Greg Woods

The Henry County Wildcats defeated the visiting Trimble County Raiders 6-0 on May 13 behind a strong pitching performance from sophomore Bodie Clark. Clark allowed four hits, struck out five and walked one on the way to a complete game victory. The Cats manufactured six runs on only three hits. Dylan Adams and Tyler Robbins led the offense with two RBIs each.

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The Cats generated their runs by taking advantage of four Trimble County errors and seven walks with good base running. They had eight stolen bases in the game.

Landon New got the Cats off to an early lead. He led of with a walk, stole second base and advanced to third on Ethan Tuggle’s single to left field. The Cats attempted a double steal and Tuggle was thrown out while New raced home with the first run of the game.

Henry County added three runs in the third inning. They did all their damage with two outs. Brad West singled to start the rally, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. West came home on another wild pitch to make 2-0. Tuggle walked, stole second advanced to third when Mason Fish’s groundball to third was misplayed for an error and came home on another error. Fish stole both second and third base. Before coming home on an error.

Tuggle scored again in the fifth inning when he reached on an error, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch brought Tuggle home to make it 5-0.

The Cats final run came in the sixth when Dakota Estes singled to lead off the inning. After Estes stole second base, New laid down a sacrifice bunt to get him to third base. Brad West then hit a fly ball to left field and Estes tagged up and scored. West had the only RBI of the game on the sacrifice fly.

Meanwhile, Clark did not allow a runner past second base through the first six innings but ran into trouble in the seventh. Clark walked the first batter of the inning before the Raiders got a single to left field to put runners on first and second with no outs.

Coach Stuart Dill allowed Clark to stay in the game despite the trouble and he was able to induce a pop up to shallow right field that did not allow the runners to advance. With two outs a groundball to third allowed the Cats to force the lead runner before a wild pitch put a runner on third with two outs. But the final batter of the game flew out to left field to preserve Clark’s shutout.

Dill was pleased with the team’s performance.

“We played really well,” Dill said. “I was happy to see our kids respond after the Collins game. Bodie was phenomenal, pitching a complete game shut out. He did not walk a single hitter until the seventh and we played solid defense. We were able to manufacture some runs to pull out the win against a very solid Trimble County team. It was good to get a win and a solid pitching performance.”

Collins 21 HCHS 2

The Cats faced most people’s pick as the best team in the region the night before, and the host Titans showed why with 24 hits and solid pitching that allowed Henry County just six hits.

The Cats scored first in the top of the first inning. New was hit by a pitch to lead off the game. West followed with a single and New advanced to third on an error. Tuggle followed with a ground ball to third and the Titan’s settled for a force at second allowing New to score.

Collins responded in their half of the inning by sending 14 hitters to the plate and racking up seven hits and 10 runs. The Titans added five more runs in the second before Henry County scored their second run of the game.

New led off with a single and eventually came around to score on an Adams single to left field.

Collins added six more runs over the next three innings before the game was called on the 10-run rule.

“We ran into a very, very good team,” Dill said. “They earned the majority of their runs. It was their senior night and they came out swinging. We walked a couple of batters but really, they just were hot hitting. They are ranked as a top three team in the state for a reason. We came to play, but sometimes you just run into a better team on that particular night.”

Nelson Co. 10 HCHS 8

The Wildcats traveled to Nelson County on Thursday night for what turned out to be the final game of the regular season after rain cancelled their home finale against Williamstown on Friday.

Henry County fell behind early but battled back only to come up two runs short in the end.

After Nelson County scored twice in the first inning the Cats responded in the top of the second with two runs. Adams who went three for three with a walk led off with a double to left field. He advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Robbins. Bodie Clark then reached base when a pitch hit him. Clark came around to score when Connor Smith’s fly ball to right field misplayed into a two base error.

Nelson County added three more runs in their half of the inning to go up 5-2.

After a scoreless third inning the Cats scored a run when Adams hit another double, advanced to third on a single by Robbins and came around to score on an error by the third baseman.

But the Cardinals again responded to the Wildcat rally with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-3. They added two more in the fifth to make it a seven-run lead and looked as if the Cardinals would sail to an easy victory.

But the Wildcats were not done. They came back for five runs in the top of the sixth to make it a two-run game.

Tuggle and Fish led off with back-to-back singles before Adams walked to load the bases. Robbins followed with a ground ball to shortstop. The Cardinals threw home for the force play but Tuggle was safe and the Cats still had bases loaded with no outs. Bodie Clark drew a walk to force in another run before Steverson singled to add the third run. Blake Prather was hit by a pitch to force in the fourth run and New followed with a ground ball to second that scored the fifth and final run of the inning.

The Cats held the Cardinals scoreless in the bottom of the inning and threatened with two outs in the top of the seventh when Adams and Robbins hit back-to-back singles. But Nelson County was able to get a groundout to shortstop to end the threat and the game.

Dill was unhappy with his pitching staff’s lack of control as they gave seven free passes.

“Walks killed us in this game,” Dill said. “They hit the ball pretty well and when teams hit like they do, you cannot afford to give them free bases, which almost always turn into runs.”

The first-year coach was pleased that his team battled back.

“Offensively, our guys stepped up and showed some good things at the plate,” Dill said. “Dylan Adams had three hits, including two doubles, and Tyler Robbins had another big game at the plate. Our guys fought hard. We simply could not overcome the walks.”

The Cats ended the regular season with a 10-20 record while Nelson County finished 17-13.