SC seeks to cut down on mistakes
South Central High School’s young baseball squad picked up its first baseball win on April 25 against Springs Valley. Since then, the Rebels had won three out of five contests before hitting the road last Wednesday to face Clarksville.
Playing at Clarksville Little League fields, the host Generals had to play catch up after falling behind in the opening inning. In the end, Clarksville padded its lead with four runs in the sixth to take a 10-4 non-league win.
‘We have innings where it feels like it is all coming together, but, unfortunately, we haven’t put many seven innings together,’ South Central coach Brad Wiseman said. ‘We are doing some things better but not everything consistently better.’
South Central put pressure on Clarksville quickly with early singles by Wesley Wilson and Zach Needler. The bases were then loaded when Ben Wibbels reached on an error trying put down a sac bunt.
Two batters later, off Clarksville pitcher Dee Shelton, Wyatt Crosier lined a two-run single to center field. Shelton bounced back to strike out the next two Rebels batters.
Needler took the hill for South Central but saw three errors early on result in his lead disappearing. Seth Hamilton reached on an infield error then scored on an infield hit off the bat of Charles VanWinkle.
With VanWinkle breaking for second base, a hit-and-run play saw Webster Walls shoot a ball to right field. Two throwing miscues by the Rebels allowed Walls to eventually score on the play, giving Clarksville a 3-2 edge.
Frank Goodman reached in the second for South Central but wasn’t able to score. Austin Tyree hit a single in the third for the Rebels but was stranded as well.
‘We have guys doing some really good things,’ Wiseman said. ‘Tyree is a little sick but still had two hits. He’s really hitting it well but made a few mistakes in the field. We need to play as hard as we can and, if we make a mistake, know each other has their back. We can win some more games, but we have to change our mentality.’
Clarksville added to its lead in the third thanks to Walls knocking a lead-off triple. A sacrifice fly lifted by Ethan Cummings brought in his teammate. An error later in the inning allowed another Clarksville run to cross.
A two-out triple to the right center-field gap by Wibbels prompted some fifth-inning excitement in the Rebels’ dugout. Shelton, however, ended the frame by getting Tyree to fly out.
The next inning for the Rebels saw Chase Schoen hit a ball into the darkness of left field, clearing the wall for a home run. The blast from the junior brought South Central within three runs, trailing 6-3.
The bottom of the sixth put the game away for Clarksville. Five singles and one error led to four runs.
‘Zach pitched well enough to win this ballgame, but we didn’t play good enough defense behind him,’ South Central coach Alex Wiseman said. ‘Austin, our first game of the year, he gave up one run (in a loss). We should be able to support him better. He doesn’t throw the hardest, but he’s going to try to throw the ball harder when guys behind him are struggling to make plays.’
Tyree and Needler finished with two hits apiece against Clarksville.
The No. 2 and 3 hitters for Clarksville, VanWinkle and Walls, accounted for five of Clarksville’s 10 hits.
Confidence is starting to build for the Rebels after winning games over the previous weeks.
‘We played New Washington the other night, and, while they aren’t a great team this year, they still put the ball in play against us,’ Brad Wiseman said. ‘Nathan Farnsley struck out four, but we still had to manufacture a lot of outs. The guys didn’t make an error that night, and we played well. If we can field it with confidence, we will play better.’
South Central 200 001 1 ‘ 4 8 5
Clarksville 302 104 x ‘ 10 10 2
W ‘ Shelton, L ‘ Needler.
2B ‘ Tyree (SC); 3B ‘ Wibbels (SC), Walls (C); HR ‘ C. Schoen (SC).