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Panthers down Warriors in district play

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By Greg Woods

The Eminence Warriors hosted the Carroll County Panthers on Thursday night and got off to good start before falling to the district leading team.

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After shutting the Panthers down in the top of the first, the Warriors came to bat and got a lead off double from Austin Jones. Mitchell Golden then got a one-out single to score Jones and give the Warriors the lead.

The second inning started well for the Warriors as they got the first two outs of the inning. The Panther’s bats woke at that point and before the inning was over Carroll County had scored six runs.

The Warriors went down in order in the second and Carroll County came to bat and again came up with clutch two-out hitting, pushing across three more runs after the first two batters were retired.

The Warriors’ pitching staff struggled with control issues and ended up issuing 15 walks in the game.

They did manage to scratch out another run in the third inning when Jared Golden led off with a walk and advanced to third on a Jalen Dixie single before Mitchell Golden delivered a two-out single to score his younger brother.

But the runs weren’t enough to overcome control issues and Carroll County’s potent hitting.

“From one to nine they hit the ball very well,” Coach Jay Virgin said. “They all have a good approach to hitting. We just could not get the final out in the second and third innings and that was really where we lost the game.”

Virgin was pleased to see that his efforts to get the team more aggressive at the plate are starting to pay dividends.

“Our approach to hitting is getting better every game,” Virgin said. “We only had two strikeouts in this game so that is a trend that is continuing in recent games. I told the guys that we are going to break out soon for a couple of big innings. It’s bound to happen if we keep putting the ball in play. I hope they believe it because I think it’s true.”

The Warriors fell to 1-12 on the season and the Panthers improved to 16-8. The Warriors are 0-6 in district games while Carroll is 5-1, which is tied for first with Gallatin County for the top district seed with two games to play. Henry County is 3-3 in district games and Owen County has completed district play with a 3-5 record.