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Another 'no cigar' day for Cavs

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By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

HILLSVILLE –– The season is getting short, but if there is any justice in the world, Carroll County and pitcher Drew Webb will have a day similar to their last two district outings and actually be able to feel good about it when it’s over.

A week after holding Richlands to four hits in a 5-4 loss, Webb limited Abingdon to three hits, but once again a minimal amount of offense was enough to hand Carroll County a close loss, this time a 2-0 decision in a Southwest District game Tuesday at Bill Worrell Field.

The final was a far cry from the Falcons’ 15-5, five-inning win in the two teams’ first meeting.

“Drew threw the ball real well again,” Cavalier coach Joe Tompkins said. “His last two starts were against the top two teams in the district. He gave up four hits to Richlands and three today. What else could you ask for from the kid?”

A textbook example of run manufacturing gave the Falcons (11-6 overall, 8-2 district) the lead for good in the top of the first. Justin Malone singled to center, stole second, moved to third on Nathan Hagy’s groundout and scored on Matt Rasnake’s sacrifice fly.

The Cavaliers (9-9, 5-6) managed two-thirds of the manufacturing process in their first at-bat as T.J. Martin singled sharply to left, advanced when the ball was misplayed in the outfield and took third on Chris Lineberry’s grounder to second. Martin was stranded there, though, as Abingdon pitcher Zach Whitt found a groove and stayed in it. Beginning with Lineberry’s groundout, Whitt would retire the next 16 Cavaliers he faced, including 10 on grounders. At one stretch he induced seven straight ground ball outs.

“It would be one thing if we were striking out a lot, but we’re not,” Tompkins said. “We’re putting the bat on the ball. We’re just not getting the base hits. [Whitt] had good location and kept the ball down, and we just beat it into the ground.”

Webb was just as dominant after giving up the leadoff hit to Malone, retiring 13 of the next 14 Falcons to face him.

Neither team managed a baserunner from the bottom of the second through one out in the top of the fifth. Abingdon’s Josh Barker drew a one-out walk in the fifth and was erased at second on Bobby Webb’s fielder’s choice. Preston Pionk bunted for a single, and a mishandled throw at third put runners on the corners. Webb scored when Drew Webb was called for a balk for going to his mouth while on the mound.

Carroll County turned double plays in each of the final two innings, but couldn’t get anything going offensively. Jarrod McCombs singled with one out in the sixth and Mike Kelly did the same in the seventh, but nothing materialized in either inning, leaving the Cavaliers saddled with another close loss.

“Richlands beat us by two and one [runs], Tazewell beat us by two and one, and Abingdon beat us by two and about 40,” Tompkins said. “It would be nice to get a break every now and then.”

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