Knight Falls on Elizabethtown Mistakes!
KNIGHT FALLS ON ELIZABETHTOWN MISTAKES!
In a much awaited matchup between possible 5th Region Champions, Marion County outlasted Elizabethtown, 5-3 last Tuesday night in a game which may help define both team’s playoff chances. The Knights are the defending 2017 Region Champs after a surprise season last year and a deep playoff run at the State Tournament were traveling to Elizabethtown for a late season game against a surprisingly hot Panther team, but it was mistakes that helped give the Knights an early lead along with a surprise blast by a reluctant source.
After senior Luke Abell took advantage of a misplayed ball by Logan Greenwell which allowed him to reach third base, freshman pitcher Camden Williams retired the next two batters until Ryan Hayes raced to first on an error allowing Abell to score. Then Aaron Howard singled to center and Kelly Mattingly followed that with an RBI single and then first baseman Luke Thomas stepped up and blasted one to deep center for a three run dinger that made the score 5-0 Marion County.
That was all the Knights needed as Williams didn’t allow anymore runs, but that was enough as the Panthers would challenge as the game went on with a single run in the third on junior catcher Jackson Webb’s homer and got another in the fourth when Paul Fiepke’s run on a squeeze bunt and then another in the fifth on Fiepke’s sacrifice fly that scored Jey Gregory, but Knight head coach Patrick Campbell trotted out Travis Wiser and Kelly Mattingly in the last two innings to close the door.
Afterwards, the buzz was on Thomas’ homer which was his first of the season and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Thomas has been Campbell’s most reliable pitcher and was the team’s No.1 last season getting a big win in the 5th Region Championship against Nelson County, but this time playing first base while McCarty got his start got it done with his bat instead of his arm.
Meanwhile, Webb was part of the discussion too with his home run and was 2-of-3 from the plate while simply destroying opposing pitching with his long ball tactics of late.
Still, it was mistakes that cost Elizabethtown the game as Williams got he loss despite not giving up an earned run in three plus innings. That should give Panther coach Don Pitts something to think about with the playoffs looming and Campbell will know that he might still depend on his No. 1 pitcher as a power hitter in the clutch if necessary.