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Carroll Co. rally falls short

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Carroll County cut a 7-1 deficit to a single run before coming up short in a 7-6 loss at Abingdon.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

ABINGDON -- Making the most of its five base hits, Abingdon used a big second inning to jump out to a sizeable early lead, then held off a late Carroll County rally to squeak out a 7-6 win in a Southwest District game Tuesday night at Falcon Park. “You’ve got to throw strikes to win ballgames,” said Carroll County coach Joe Tompkins, whose Cavaliers fell to 2-5 overall, 0-2 in the SWD. “We walked five guys and four of them scored.” Three of the free passes came in the bottom of the second as the Falcons (5-1) pushed five runs across for a 5-1 lead. Alexander Nadler singled into left to knock in courtesy runner Austin Dove, and Jonathan Head’s at-bat was kept alive by a dropped foul pop, eventually leading to a bases-filling walk. No. 9 hitter Travis Shrewsbury walked to force in Heath Shelton and Luke Hilt singled home Nadler, ending the day for Carroll County starter Zach Edwards. Lee Underwood took the mound and fanned Josh Barker before walking Zach Witt for Abingdon’s fourth run of the inning. Kenny Pope then capped the uprising with a dribbler in front of the mound, with Shrewsbury beating the toss home for a 5-1 Falcon lead. Abingdon stretched its lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the third on an error, a Nadler double and a sacrifice fly by Head before the Cavaliers began clawing their way back into it, starting with a leadoff double by Crotts in the top of the fourth. Dillon Bryant had scored Carroll’s only run up to that point, taking a Witt pitch on the arm and eventually scoring from second on an errant pickoff attempt. Bryant was plunked again in the fourth, as was Jordan Hawks to load the bases. Jordan Lamb drew a walk to force in pinch runner Morgan Edwards and Alex Wood singled into right, plating Bryant. Craig Rosen capped the rally with a two-run single to center. Crotts took the mound in the bottom of the fourth and effectively shut down the Falcons, allowing a harmless double in the fifth, striking out five and walking one. “We couldn’t have brought Adam in any sooner,” said Tompkins of his hard-throwing senior, who has been battling back spasms. “He got the job done, and that gave us a chance.” Witt stayed on the mound for Abingdon despite the rocky fourth and stranded Crotts  after giving up a one-out double to left in the fifth. Witt retired the Cavaliers in order in the sixth but had to face the potential tying run in the form of Crotts in the top of the seventh. Rosen drilled a one-out triple into right center, scoring on Tyler Reavis’ ground-out to the right side and cutting the Falcons’ lead to 7-6. With two outs, Crotts worked the count full before having to fight off a curve on the outside edge, lofting a fly ball to right for the final out. Rosen and Crotts had two hits each for the Cavaliers, who outhit the Falcons 7-5. Nadler had a pair of hits for Abingdon. Witt went the distance to pick up the win for Abingdon, striking out 11 and walking one   Carroll County......010  400  1––6  7  2 Abingdon.............052  000  x––7  5  1

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Z.Edwards, Underwood (2), Crotts (4) and Wood. Witt and Pope. WP – Witt. LP – Edwards. 3B – Rosen. 2B – Nadler, Crotts 2, Shelton.