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Carroll County baseball finished 2-1 in the Jim Dougherty Memorial Tournament on Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1. The Panthers lost their first game against Beechwood, 4-0, but recovered with victories over Silver Grove and Dayton.
Head coach Josh Mefford said his team played well overall. Junior Dillon Craig was awarded the plaque for the All-Tournament team for his hitting and pitching in Carroll’s game against Beechwood.
“Dillon played really well, pitched a really good game against Beechwood, but we just couldn’t score,” Mefford said. “We couldn’t hit the ball; we couldn’t put hits together; we missed bunts. I was trying to bunt people around and we couldn’t even bunt a ball against them.”
Craig pitched four innings and struck out three batters. The Tigers scored two runs in both the first and fifth innings to get the win.
In both the Silver Grove and Dayton game, the Panthers struggled at the plate early, but came on late to score, Mefford said.
The Panthers scored nine runs in the third inning and tacked on two more in the fourth to run-rule the Silver Grove Big Trains, 11-0. Carroll collected 10 hits in the game. Keifer McIntyre led the team with three RBIs and a double; Trey Boles had a double and a bunt single for two RBIs; Zach Beckham hit a double and a single and had an RBI; Austin Dunn hit two singles and an RBI; Brandon Franklin hit an RBI double; Craig hit an RBI single; and Will Wallace hit a single.
McIntyre struck out eight batters on the mound and walked just three.
In the last game of the tournament, the Panthers defeated Dayton Greendevils 15-2. Up 4-2 heading into the fourth, Carroll picked up seven runs in the inning and added four more in the fifth. The team finished with 16 hits, but committed four errors.
Zakk Hicks logged three singles and three RBIs; Dunn had three singles and two RBIs; Craig had a single, a double and three RBIs; John Michael Adams had three singles and two RBIs; Boles had twosingles and an RBI; Beckham had an RBI single; McIntyre had a single; and Wallace had an RBI.
Boles started the game on the mound, striking out four. Derrick Nickell and Chase Osborne came on in relief, both striking out a batter apiece.
Mefford said the battle for the All-Tournament plaque came down between Craig and Dunn. “Austin Dunn definitely got honorable mention for that tournament,” he said. “He hit really well, played pretty good.”
Unfortunately for the Panthers, the team also lost a player to injury during the tournament. In his first at-bat against Beechwood, sophomore Austin Crowell swung at an inside pitch and was hit. He has a hairline fracture in his right hand and will probably be out for six weeks, Mefford said. “It makes pitching tough because he’s definitely one of my go-to guys in relief,” he said. “He’ll go in there and throw you a lot of strikes an pitches really well. And he’s one of our key middle infielders. He’s been kind of struggling at the plate so far, but it’s only his first couple games back.”