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Knights score late, CHS baseball falls by one

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Connersville’s Cody Friend fires a shot to first base, following a force out at second, against South Dearborn Thursday evening at Spartan Field. Friend and the Spartans were beaten by the Knights, 5-4.
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Connersville’s Brett Gray celebrates after smacking a third-inning triple against South Dearborn at Spartan Field on Thursday evening. Gray and the Spartans lost an early lead and fell to the visiting Knights 5-4.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

After earning a win over South Dearborn three nights earlier, the Connersville High School baseball team was hoping to make it a sweep of their Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference rival, Thursday night at Spartan Field.

Things appeared headed that way through three innings, as a three-run third inning put the Spartans in a 4-1 driver’s seat.

But three runs in the fifth by the Knights tied the game at 4-4.

A single tally in the top of the seventh broke the tie, and three outs later, the Spartans were sent to a 1-19 record on the season, this time by a 5-4 result.

“They had five or six bloop singles that landed between our outfielders,” Connersville head coach Scott Sargent said. “It was one of those games in which they got those kinds of hits, while at the same time, our kids were hitting the ball hard, but right at somebody.

“The ball just didn’t bounce our way today.”

Cameron Rowe put the Spartans on top early, leading off the game with a single, then moving to second with a stolen base. He would advance to third, then charge home with the game’s first run on an RBI-single from A.J. Corsaro.

Connersville added three runs in the third, on the strength of triples from Colton Massey and Brett Gray.

“It was good to see both Colton and Brett come through with those triples,” Sargent said.

Fortune didn’t smile on the 4-1 advantage for long, however.

South Dearborn’s Tristan Rinehart slapped a triple of his own in the fifth, chasing home teammates Brady Fentress and Trey Thies, capping a three-run frame that knotted the contest.

The visitors would take their first lead of the game in the seventh, Fentress leading the inning off with a double. A single by Thies, and a walk to Rinehart loaded the bases with no one out, bringing a change on the mound from Sargent.

“Bryce (Cloyd) pitched a great game,” Sargent said. “But it was time to make a change and I thought Brett came into the game and did a terrific job in that tough situation. He did a great job working out of that, holding South Dearborn to only one run.”

As it turned out, one was enough however, as Connersville got the tying run aboard in Massey in the bottom of the seventh, but failed to move him around.

“I really hope that the kids can see that they played a solid game tonight,” Sargent said of his charges. “We didn’t play badly at all. It’s not a good thing that we got beat, but you still see good things happening out there.

“I am very proud of these kids. Words will never express how proud and amazed I am of them,” Sargent said. “This is just one of those years where it seems we can’t get things to go the way they should.”

KNIGHTS 5, SPARTANS 4

(at Connersville Field)

South Dearborn 001 030 1 — 5 11 2

Connersville 103 000 0 — 4 4 2

WP: Adam Dixon

LP: Bryce Cloyd

South Dearborn (5-14, 2-10 EIAC) — Ethan Getz 1-3, Brady Fentress 3-4, Trey Thies 3-4, Tristan Rinehart 1-2, Jace Leonard 1-4, Adam Dixon 1-4, Kane Curry 1-4, Jake Black 0-4, Tobie Teke 0-1, Kaset McCabe 0-0, Adam Dixon 0-0. Totals 11-30 (.367).

Connersville (1-19, 1-11 EIAC) — Cameron Rowe 1-3, Dylan Logan 0-4, Cody Friend 0-2, A.J. Corsaro 1-4, Colton Massey 1-5, Bryce Cloyd 0-1, Brayson McQueen 0-0, Brett Gray 1-3, Dylan Lynn 0-3, Dylan Combs 0-1. Totals 4-26 (.154).

3B — South Dearborn 1 (Rinehart), Connersville 2 (Massey, Gray). 2B — South Dearborn 1 (Fentress). RBI — South Dearborn 5 (Rinehart 2, Fentress, Thies, Leonard), Connersville 4 (Gray 2, Corsaro, Massey). Runs — South Dearborn 7 (Fentress 2, Getz, Thies, Teke), Connersville 4 (Rowe, Friend, Cloyd, McQueen). Stolen base — South Dearborn 1 (McCabe), Connersville 2 (Rowe, Corsaro). Caught stealing — South Dearborn 1 (Fentress), Connersville 1 (McQueen). Sacrifice — Connersville 1 (Rowe). Left on base — South Dearborn 9, Connersville 9.