Late rally lifts Warriors over Aviators

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CCM/Dan Ries Carrollton Sophomore Hunter Allison reaches to complete a 4-6-3 double play to end an Aviator rally.

By Dan Ries

Sports Reporter

The Carrollton Warriors scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning for a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Alliance Aviators  April 10 at Hensley Field with former Warrior Coach Curt Hensley in attendance.

Alliance jumped out to a two-run lead in the top of the first. 

A bunt attempt by the leadoff hitter resulted in a throwing error by the Warriors and the leadoff runner on third. The next batter walked, followed by a double play allowing for the runner to score from third. A single between short and third followed by a double to right center scored the second run.

The hosts responded in the bottom half of the inning. 

Hayden Jenkins was hit by the second pitch he saw. Isaac Husted, up next, smacked a single up the middle. Jacob Whitmore singled to left to load the bases. Hunter Allison hit a single to right scoring Jenkins and Husted, tying the game at 2-2.

Both pitchers settled down after the first inning. Warrior pitcher Isiah McConnell got the next five batters out before giving up a walk in the third. A stolen base and a long single to left field gave the Aviators a 3-2 lead.

Carrollton plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth without the benefit of a hit. The fun began with a routine ground ball by Aiden McCort, that was bobbled by the shortstop. After a strikeout, Branden Marshall hit a ground ball to short that the shortstop turned into a throwing error past the first baseman into right field. The runners advanced to second and third. Jenkins fouled off several pitches. On a 2-2 count, the pitcher threw a wild pitch into the ground allowing the tying run to score. With a 3-2 count, the Aviator ace let fly another wild pitch, walking Jenkins, and allowing the go ahead run to score, giving the Warriors a 4-3 lead.

Neither team would get a runner past second base the remainder of the game as the Warriors closed out the victory.

McConnell picked up the complete game victory. He gave up three runs, all earned, on six hits, two walks and three strikeouts. He threw 80 pitches.

“He (McConnell) settled in. We’ve gotten complete starts from just about everybody this year. Pitching hasn’t been the problem. Defense hasn’t been the problem. We’ve just had trouble the last few games hitting the ball and scoring runs,” Head Coach Brian Connelly said after the game. “We got the win. A league win”

Jake Whitmore was 2-3. Allison was 1-3 with two RBIs. Husted was 1-2 with a run. The Aviators outhit the Warriors 6-4.

Following the game the two teams completed a scoreless game from April 9 that was suspended in the bottom of the fifth due to rain. At the time, the Aviators had one out with runners on first and third. Landon James took the mound replacing Jenkins, who pitched the night before.

James’ first pitch hit the batter, loading the bases. A slow ground ball to third allowed the runner to score. A flyout to center and a groundball up the middle put the Aviators up 4-0. They would add another run in the sixth to take the win 5-0.

Jenkins pitched 4.1 innings giving up two runs, both earned on five hits, two walks while striking out seven. James threw .2 innings giving up two runs both earned on one hit and a walk. Husted pitched the last inning giving up a run on one hit.

Jenkins was 1-2 with a double. Six other Warriors had a single.

Licking Valley

The Warriors travelled to Licking Valley April 6, losing a hard fought 2-0 matchup. The Panthers scored a run in the third and fifth inning. 

McConnell pitched six strong innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five. The Panthers outhit the Warriors 5-4. Husted, Cooper Haun, Marshall and Nicholaus Conrad each had a hit for the Warriors.

The Warriors are scheduled to travel to Salem April 17.

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