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South Central first baseman Nathan Shaffer stretches to catch a throw for a put-out against Clarksville last Wednesday. Photo by Brian Smith

Rebels see lengthy stretch of games close at Clarksville

May 14, 2014 | 11:31 AM

A day after run-ruling Mid-Southern Conference team Charlestown 11-1, the South Central baseball team wasn't able to complete a two-game road streak at Clarksville.

Last Wednesday, the Rebels put together a solid first inning against the Generals, but yielding a seven-run fifth was the team's downfall. The big inning led to a 9-3 victory by Clarksville.

"We came out flat today," South Central coach Brian McKnight said. "We played well yesterday but didn't have anything for Clarksville today."

South Central generated eight hits but half came in the opening inning. Nick Veith, Austin Knear, Parker Gabhart and Alex Goforth had consecutive singles, leading to two runs.

While it was a hot start offensively, the Rebels scuffled at the plate the rest of the way despite putting on runners.

"We scored the two in the first, then we couldn't string anything together," McKnight said.

South Central stranded two in the second inning and had two in the third until Gabhart was caught stealing.

"We didn't have good at-bat," McKnight said. "There were too many strikeouts looking. Last night, we didn't have a strikeout at all. I think today they weren't ready to play baseball."

Clarksville managed to even the contest in the second inning with a pair of runs. A pair of walks issued to the Generals led to the runs, along with a South Central error. Upon trying to turn a double play on a ball hit by Josh Robinson, the Rebels threw the ball away, allowing the runner to pass home.

Looking to gather some momentum, South Central went back ahead 3-2 when Goforth hit an RBI single. The shot allowed the speedy Knear to score from first base after smacking a one-out hit.

Clarksville cashed in again in the fifth inning with seven runs. A walk and hit by pitch gave the Generals a pair of free passes to start.

Justin Lind followed by laying down a perfect bunt down the third-base line to load the bases.

With the bases packed, Wyatt Kissel hit a shot back at South Central hurler Goforth. Ricocheting off his shin, a run scored but also forced the righty to exit the game with an injury. He'd later return to pinch-hit.

Coming in cold from first base, lefty Nathan Shaffer struggled to find his groove, walking two and giving up two run-scoring singles before being lifted.

"We tried to make due with what we had to deal with," McKnight said.

Lucas Veith came in to stop the scoring with a strikeout. He, along with the Rebels caught an unlucky break on a ball hit by Seon Shoopman to center. Outfielder Knear was camped under the ball to make the catch but dropped the exchange to throw in the ball. To the dispute of McKnight, the field umpire ruled no catch, allowing two additional runs to score.

"I see him make the catch, then turn around and he's safe," McKnight said.

Gabhart was the lone Rebel to tally two hits.

Kissel earned the win for the Generals, tossing all seven innings.

McKnight said the game against Clarksville was one to cap a long stretch of games.

"It's been tough on the kids because we played two on Saturday, played Monday, Tuesday and today," he said. "You need a lot of arms to get through a stretch like that. We'll see how they bounce back."

The bounce back happened for South Central on Monday, when the Rebels shut out Providence 2-0. Nick Veith pitched a 3-hitter with five strikeouts and two walks.

"Nick was very efficient, only threw 76 pitches," McKnight said. "He kept the ball down and got ground balls. The defense was good behind him."

Stepping up to drive in both runs was Joe Logsdon. The first was a two-out single in the second inning, while the second was a two-strike homer in the bottom of the fifth.

"It was a well-played game by both teams," McKnight said.

South Central is slated to host North Harrison today (Wednesday) then welcome rival Lanesville on Friday at 5 p.m. for a make-up game. The Rebels will also participate Saturday in the Crawford County Invitational.

South Central 200 010 0 – 3 8 3

Clarksville 020 070 x – 9 6 1

W – Kissel, L – Goforth.

2B – Lemonds (C), Hauber (C), L. Veith (SC).


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