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The Carroll County Panthers’ run to the All A Sweet Sixteen ended Friday with a 17-1 loss to 6th Region Champion DeSales High School in Louisville.
“They were better than us Friday in every facet of the game,” Carroll head coach Jay Jones said.
Despite the loss, Jones said it was a good learning experience for his team to see another team that works hard and has been successful. In a Monday interview, Jones said he can already see a difference in the way his team is throwing the ball around the infield after strikeouts and conducting themselves in the dugout.
The game got off to a bad start for the Panthers from the get-go. The top of the lineup went down 1-2-3 on two ground-outs and a strike out. In the bottom of the inning, Jones said his team was expecting and prepared for the Colts leadoff to bunt. He bunted down the third base line and made it safely to first on an error. Jones said that play was disheartening for his team and may have affected starting pitcher Tyler Gross.
Gross struggled with his location and made some mistakes up in the strike zone. But Jones said he was proud of the way Gross continued to battle and that the experience was good for him.
“Tyler is our big-game pitcher; we have all the confidence in the world in him,” Jones said. “He needs to see those types of hitters. It’s going to make him sharper … If you miss, good teams are going to make you pay.”
DeSales batted around in the first inning, including three doubles to right field, and built a 5-0 lead. In the top of the second, Carroll went down again, 1-2-3 on a fly to right field and two strikeouts.
The Colts came back up to the plate and tacked on two more runs for a 7-0 lead, while the Panthers remained hitless.
Ethan Stewart came in to pitch in the third inning, but DeSales continued to hit the ball solidly for singles all over the field.
In the top of the fifth inning, DeSales had built a 17-0 lead, and pitcher Hunter Tipton had a perfect game and a no-hitter going.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
With one out, Audie Platt hit a line drive near the second baseman, who dove for the ball, but it fell out of his glove. Platt was safe, and the streak was broken.
Derek Williams walked during his at-bat, and Brady Hill was hit by the pitch, loading the bases.
Pinch-hitter John Michael Adams stepped up to the plate for what Jones said was his first varsity at-bat. He hit a ground out to second base, but it was enough to score the Panthers’ lone run for the game. “He’s going to be a special player,” Jones said. “We’re excited about getting him going, and we think he will be a key guy for us coming down the stretch.”
Tipton ended the game throwing 67 pitches with eight strikeouts in five innings. “He had great command until maybe that last inning,” Jones said. “For any high school athlete to take a perfect game into the last inning is an impressive thing. We were just glad Audie was able to break up the perfect game and no-hitter.”
Carroll County defeats Switzerland County
Brady Hill and Zach Wise both hit homeruns during Carroll’s doubleheader wins over Switzerland County Saturday.
In the first game, the Panthers won 13-2 in five innings with Derek Williams getting the win. Williams gave up just one earned run and struck out five batters.
Hill hit a homerun, while Wise was 4-4 at the plate. Ethan Stewart finished 3-4, John Michael Adams was 2-3 and Tyler Gross, Audie Platt and Williams each had one hit.
“Up and down the lineup, we bounced back pretty well,” head coach Jay Jones said of his team, coming off of the loss to DeSales in the All A tournament Friday.
In game two, Trey Boles was credited with the win, while Adams got the save. Jones said the game was tied 3-3 going into the sixth inning. The Panthers scored two in the sixth and plated another in the seventh to leave with a 7-4 victory.
Jones said Switzerland’s left-handed pitcher kept Carroll off-balance and struck out seven batters.
Dillon Craig was 1-2 with a triple, and Wise was 2-4. Stewart, Platt, Hill and Adams each had a hit.