Offensive struggles proved costly for Mount Gilead in a 5-1 loss at home to East Knox in a KMAC baseball game.
One day after being edged 6-5 by the Bulldogs, the Indians (1-4) were held to two hits by East Knox pitcher Ryan Morton, who also walked two and hit a pair of batters.
“We just didn’t string any hits together,” said Indian coach Mark Kennon. “We had runners in scoring position and didn’t get any in.”
For the most part, MG pitcher Cade Smith was able to match Morton, but a rocky second inning allowed the Bulldogs to jump out to a big lead in the early going.
Cole Delaughder opened the inning with a single and was then driven in by a hard-hit double by Shane Knepp. After Smith recorded a strikeout, he would then be victimized by a two-run blast by Derrick Field to make it a 3-0 game. Then, with two outs, a walk to Carson Steinmetz led to a run-scoring single by Peyton Lester that put the Bulldogs up by four.
“I thought Cade Smith pitched really well,” said Kennon. “It was just a game where he pitched well, but we didn’t give him any support. Other than that inning, he pitched a good outing.”
It would be 5-0 going into the bottom of the third inning, as a couple fielding miscues led to another run crossing the plate. However, the Indians looked to have something going in their half of the inning.
With one out, Graham Sherbourne got a single to be his team’s first baserunner of the game. Ben Whitt was then hit by a pitch and Carson VanHoose cracked a single to load the bases. Unfortunately, the team would only get one run out of that situation on a sacrifice fly by Paul Butterman.
“Last night, we got those hits,” said Kennon. “We just didn’t have it tonight. That’s baseball; we told them to keep fighting every time.”
The Indians didn’t have many more scoring opportunities after the third inning. Sherbourne was walked with one out in the fifth inning, but Morton responded with two straight strikeouts to end that threat. In the sixth, with two outs, Nick Garvey was walked and Tyler McKinney got hit by a pitch, but another strikeout left those runners stranded.
Smith finished his outing with five strikeouts, two walks and eight hits surrendered. Sherbourne and VanHoose picked up Mount Gilead’s two hits.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS