Carroll competitive against preseason No. 1 Collins

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By Kristin Beck

Carroll County High School baseball suffered its first loss of the season Monday, falling 5-1 to Martha Layne Collins at home.

The Panthers (4-1) gave up four runs in the top of the second, but hung in with the pre-season 8th Region No. 1 team the rest of the way. 

Head coach Jimmy Ray said Collins (5-1) is a good team that is not going to beat itself. He said his team played pretty well overall, but the most disappointing statistic was their strikeouts. The Panthers struck out six times, which he said was not bad; however five of the six were strikeouts looking. “That is terrible,” he said. 

He thought some of the players were intimidated about playing the preseason No. 1 team and were not as aggressive as they could have been at the plate. However, by the end of the game, he said the team was confident that they could compete with the Titans. 

The Panthers had bases loaded in both the fourth and the fifth innings, but could not put more than one run across. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Justin Ray hit a leadoff single, and Seth Hicks and Zakk Hicks both walked to load the bases with two outs. Keifer McIntyre hit an RBI single to right field. Justin Ray scored and coach Ray sent Seth Hicks home, but he was tagged out at the plate. Ray said he blames himself for getting Hicks out and ending the rally. 

McIntyre and Ray both hit two singles, while Austin Dunn hit a single and a double. Zakk Hicks and Jacob Wise also singled.

Zakk Hicks started at the mound and pitched four innings, giving up nine hits and striking out two batters. McIntyre came in for relief, giving up three hits, a walk and striking out one batter.