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Burton’s 14 Ks lead Panthers past Clarksville

Burton’s 14 Ks lead Panthers past Clarksville
Burton’s 14 Ks lead Panthers past Clarksville
Corydon CentralÂ’s Jon Smith connects with a pitch late in the game against Clarksville Monday. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Corydon Central rallied from an early two-run deficit to win, 4-3, Monday at Clarksville, running its Mid-Southern Conference record to 3-0.
By striking out 14 batters in his second consecutive game (the last a no-hitter at Austin), pitcher Chase Burton picked up the win on the hill.
‘Chase gave up the homer in the first, but, besides that, he kept his composure and battled out there,’ said Corydon Central coach Zach Sipes. ‘Clarksville did an excellent job with two strikes, making him throw extra pitches. He had to battle for outs for seven innings. He has been awesome all year long.’
Burton walked the lead-off batter, Nathaniel Jones, to start the bottom of the first inning. Two batters later, his counterpart on the mound, Drew Kissel, hit a two-run home run to give Clarksville an early 2-0 lead.
Corydon Central put runners on in each of the first three innings, but it wasn’t until the fourth that the Panthers cracked the scoreboard. Jeremiah Windell started the frame with a single then was advanced to second on a Mitch Akers sacrifice bunt.
Following an Aaron Arnold ground out, the Panthers caught a break when Burton reached on an error by shortstop Jeremy Noe. Windell crossed the plate to trim the Generals’ lead to 2-1.
The Panthers took the lead in the fifth inning when they strung together three consecutive one-out hits. Michael McCarty led off with a single followed by a single from Tyler Shewmaker. Jon Smith recorded the game-tying RBI when he hit a double to the left centerfield gap.
Windell followed by drawing a walk to load the bases for Akers. He hit a hard ground ball to third baseman Zach Mikel, who made the decision to throw home in an attempt to throw out Shewmaker. The attempt short-hopped the catcher and the ball rolled to the backstop allowing Shewmaker and Smith to cross.
‘We caught a couple breaks on errors to score runs, but, at the same time, they made some plays early in the game to keep us off the scoreboard,’ Sipes said. ‘My philosophy with offense has been, if we can hit hard ground balls or line drives, we can put pressure on the defense. We did that today, and it paid off for us.’
Clarksville cut the Corydon Central lead to one in the sixth inning when Jeremy Noe hit a run-scoring double to deep center.
The Generals also posed a threat in the final frame when two runners reached. Zach Mikel hit his second single of the game and eventually reached third following a Nathaniel Jones hit. Burton, however, left those runners on bases when he struck out Nick Jones on an off-speed pitch to end the game.
‘This is another conference win to take us to 3-0,’ Sipes said. ‘It’s a tight win, too. We’ve had several tight games, but I told the guys we want to win our conference games and all our games. If we can play in tight games like this, win or lose, come sectional, we’re going to be a lot better.’
Corydon Central tallied six hits for the game, led by two from Windell. Hitting has become a focus for the Panthers lately after a slow start of the season.
‘We had a couple of good practices working with our kids hitting the ball,’ Sipes said. ‘We’re working on a two-strike approach of really shortening our swing, peppering the ball out there. Today, we may not have had a ton of hits, but we struck out far less than we normally do, and we hit the ball the hardest we did all year.’
Kissel took the loss for the Generals, finishing with three strikeouts.
The Panthers will return to action tomorrow (Thursday) when they host rival North Harrison at 5 p.m.