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Pirate escape

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Connersville shortstop Cody Friend makes a throw to first base in CHS’ home contest against Greensburg on Monday evening. Friend scored the lone run for the Spartans in a 6-1 Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference loss.
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Connersville junior Griffin Crowe delivers a pitch to the plate Monday night at Spartan Field. Entertaining Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference foe Greensburg for CHS’ final home game of the season, Crowe and the Spartans were defeated 6-1.
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Connersville catcher A.J. Corsaro waits on a pitch against Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference foe Greensburg at Spartan Field on Monday evening. Corsaro and the Spartans fell to the visitors 6-1.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

At the conclusion of the 2018 campaign, the Connersville High School baseball team is going to look back on the year, and take note of all the chances it missed throughout the season.

Indeed, some of that soul-searching is already taking place.

Playing their final home game of the year, the Spartans entertained Greensburg for an Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference game on Monday.

Stranding nine runners in the game, six of those courtesy of leaving the bases loaded twice, CHS endured more of those missed opportunities in a 6-1 loss to the Pirates.

“It’s been the tale of our season,” Connersville head coach Scott Sargent said. “In so many of these games, we’re just a couple of hits, or a hit and an error away from winning.”

Greensburg scored four times in the first inning, the rally aided by two Connersville errors and a hit batter.

The Spartans overcame those mistakes in the second inning, as Griffin Crowe (walk), Bryce Cloyd (single) and Colton Massey (single) put three aboard with two outs.

Unfortunately, that trio remained stuck there, as the CHS rally wilted.

One inning later, Dylan Logan led off with a double, getting the Spartans back in business. A.J. Corsaro followed two batters later with a walk, and Cameron Rowe again loaded the bases, slapping a single to move both Logan and Corsaro up a base.

But in spite of the fact that there was only one out in the inning at that point, Connersville still came up empty on its side of the scoreboard, as a fly out into short right field, followed by a strikeout, ended the CHS threat.

The Spartans would send six more batters to the plate in the fifth inning, earning their one and only tally of the game. Cody Friend would provide that run, the freshman infielder reaching via a base on balls, then using a pair of Greensburg mistakes to work his way around the basepaths.

While that run broke the ice for Connersville, the team still wound up leaving two more runners aboard.

Outside of its four-run first inning, and a two-run third frame (aided by another CHS error), Greensburg was kept quiet on the scoreboard.

“Our two pitchers were strong tonight,” Sargent said. “Dylan (Lynn) kept his pitch count down, compared to what its been in the past. Unfortunately, there were moments in which he didn’t get the support he should have from his defense, and that allowed some runs to score that shouldn’t have. In spite of that, I thought he pitched a great game.

“Griffin (Crowe) also threw well, once we brought him in there. He only need 25 pitches to get through three innings of relief. 

“It might not show it, with the final score being 6-1, but I thought we had two outstanding pitching performances tonight.”

At the plate, Logan led the Spartans with a pair of doubles in the game.

“Offensively, Dylan played an outstanding game for us,” Sargent said.

With the sectional tournament starting next week, Sargent said that the focus is changing on getting the team ready for the approaching postseason.

“We’re trying to talk to them daily about getting themselves prepared for that second season,” he said. “They’re not going to be able to get away with these little mistakes in the tournament, whether they’re physical or mental errors. If we do that in the tournament, and it’s going to cost us the ballgame.

“So we’re working on getting things cleaned up. At the same time, the coaches are staying positive with them, and they are staying positive with us, and with each other in return.”

While the team might not be putting notches in the win column, Sargent said he believes his charges will be a tough out that will have to be dealt with in the sectional.

“One thing that the kids are starting to understand is that they can play with anyone,” the CHS mentor said. “They just need to focus on playing an entire game, rather than just five or six innings.

“I really think that we are playing our best baseball with each game out right now.

“It’s not even close, how we are playing today, compared to how we competed early in the season. The kids are getting better physically and mentally. Now it’s up to them to go out and clean things up.” 

PIRATES 6, SPARTANS 1

(at Spartan Field)

Greensburg 402 000 0 — 6 9 2

Connersville 000 010 0 — 1 7 3

WP: Logan Smith

LP: Dylan Logan

Greensburg (11-6, 10-3 EIAC) — Chase Springmeyer 3-4, Mason McLeod 1-3, David Blankman 0-4, Logan Smith 1-4, Cade Reynolds 0-3, Tucker Bailey 1-2, Aaron Moeller 1-3, Eric Million 1-3, Toby Brogan 1-3, Ben Duerstock 0-0. Totals 9-29 (.310).

Connersville (1-20, 1-2 EIAC) — Brayson McQueen 1-4, Dylan Logan 2-4, Cody Friend 0-3, A.J. Corsaro 0-3, Cameron Rowe 1-3, Griffin Crowe 0-2, Bryce Cloyd 1-3, Brett Gray 0-3, Colton Massey 2-3, Dylan Combs 0-0, Dylan Lynn 0-0. Totals 7-28 (.250).

2B — Greensburg 1 (Smith), Connersville 2 (Logan 2). RBI — Greensburg 4 (Smith, Reynolds, Moeller, Million). Runs — Greensburg 6 (Smith 2, Springmeyer, McLeod, Bailey, Moeller), Connersville 1 (Friend). Stolen base — Greensburg 3 (Bailey, Smith, Brogen). Double play — Connersville 1. Left on base — Greensburg 4, Connersville 9.