A chilly evening breeze blew through Mitchell Park in Greenfield Friday and seemed to cool the McClain Tigers bats as they lost to the Chillicothe Cavaliers 12-9 despite holding a 9-5 lead headed into the fifth inning.
The Cavaliers plated five runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 10-9 lead that they would not relinquish. Chillicothe held the Tigers scoreless over the final three innings of the game.They also added two runs of their own in the top of the seventh inning to provide the final 12-9 score.
Dakota Pollock got the start and took the loss for the Tigers as he threw 104 pitches over four and two thirds innings of work. Pollock struck out five, allowed nine hits and walked three.
Another contributing factor to the defeat for the Tigers was the nine errors committed by the defense that allowed the Cavaliers to stay alive with two outs on multiple occasions.
Head baseball coach Rich Bunner shared that there were some players not available to play that hurt them defensively in the game and talked about how to approach the mistakes that his team is making on the defensive side of the ball.
“We had a couple of kids out tonight and we had some people playing where they normally don’t. We had a couple of kids out of position defensively. Yes they are routine plays, but it helps when you see those plays often. We just have to continuously tell them, ‘Hey, fundamental baseball’, ‘get back on the ball’, ‘come in on the ball’. That is really all you can do, just keep doing the same thing over and develop that routine on defense,” said Bunner.
McClain had an excellent start to the game as they they matched Chillicothes two runs in the first inning when the number one and two hitters for the Tigers, Garrison Banks and Austin Booth, were driven in by John Salyers in the three spot and Kyle Wyatt in the five hole respectively.
The Tigers were even better in the second inning as Banks, Salyers, Pollock, Wyatt, Sam Faulconer and Colton Mossbarger all scored in the innings to propel McClain to an early 8-3 lead.
McClain would add another run in the fourth inning when Wyatt scored his second run of the game on an error by the Cavaliers.
McClain will be back in action today at home when they host Circleville in a double-header.
On the softball diamond the Ladies made quick work of the visiting Lady Cavaliers as they cruised to an 8-2 win. Sisters Payton Smith and Beckley Smith powered the Lady Tigers to victory as each recorded a homerun on the evening in the second and fifth inning respectively.
Head softball coach Ed Bolender talked about the impact that the Smith sisters have had on the Lady Tigers team this season.
“Beckley has been our most consistent hitter all year. Coming into the game she is hitting about .500 on the year and that was her third homerun. Her sister Payton is a senior and has been a really great leader for us this year and it was nice to see her get one. Both of them were big for us tonight, we needed every run we could get just to feel comfortable,” said E. Bolender.
The first homerun by P. Smith came in the bottom of the second inning and drove in Kaleigh Easter and Brooklyn Rickman to give McClain a 3-0 advantage.
B. Smith’s homer was a lead-off shot in the bottom of the fifth inning that increased the lead for McClain to 6-2. Kaylee Stevenson and Rickman also scored in the inning to provide the final 8-2 score.
Cierra Bolender got the start and pitched a complete game in the victory. Bolender struck out one, allowed seven hits, walked one and allowed only two runs over her seven innings of work.
E. Bolender was pleased with his defense on the night despite a few errors that were committed.
“I think we only had two or three errors tonight. The good thing about them was that we responded and didn’t make one error into two. We also made a couple of double plays to get ourselves out of some tough innings. Defensively we did well getting ourselves out of trouble and making the routine plays for the most part,” E. Bolender said.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.