Carroll falls to Gallatin, 12-8

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By Kristin Beck

What appeared to be a blown call by the umpire at second base could have been the difference in the rivalry match-up between the Carroll and Gallatin baseball teams.

Top of the third, two outs; the game is still tied 0-0 and Gallatin’s Curtis Flynn is on first. He attempts to steal and catcher Austin Dunn throws to shortstop Trey Boles, who is running over for the tag. The runner appeared to be out by a couple feet, but was called safe by the umpire.

After the game, Carroll head coach Josh Mefford said he knew the play was close, but he had no idea it would make such a difference in the end result of the game.

Following the controversial call, Chase O’Conner hit an RBI single to right field to break the tie. Quenton O’Conner walked, and Nolan Wilson hit a two RBI single to right to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead. Brady Hill doubled to center and Chase Hartke blasted a three-run homer over the left field fence to bring his teammates in.

The Panthers caught a fly ball in left to stop the bleeding, but found themselves in a 6-0 hole.

However, unlike earlier in the season, the Panthers reminded themselves they could hit the ball and had confidence they could make a comeback. They scored four runs with two outs in the bottom half, including singles by Dunn and Keifer McIntyre and a double by Boles.

The two teams exchanged runs throughout and Carroll found themselves down 12-8 in the bottom of the seventh.

Hicks started things off with a single and advanced to second. Chase Osborne brought him around with an RBI single, 12-9. With two outs, Jacob Wise singled and Dillon Craig walked to load the bases. Boles drew another walk, putting the go-ahead run on first. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the run ended there as the next batter grounded out to end the game.

“I’m proud of them for not giving up,” Mefford said, “but it just seems like we don’t want it more than the other team does.” He said Carroll-Gallatin is always a big rivalry game, and the visitors brought “their ‘A’ game.”

Mefford said his team’s championship win in the MCIT the previous weekend boosted their confidence in preparation for a game like this where they had to battle back from a large deficit. “I think it made them realize they can hit the ball and score runs.” The Panthers collected their 10 runs on 12 hits.

Despite the loss, the rematch was a great improvement over the Panthers’ first outing against the Wildcats in which they managed just one hit, a bunt single, and lost 6-0.