Anderson County overcomes early deficit, wins 11-7
Clinton and Anderson County squared off in a high-scoring game that ended with a heartbreaking 11-7 loss for Clinton, despite the Dragons taking an early lead.
The Dragons scored three runs early in the game before giving Anderson County three runs in the third inning to tie the game, and then five runs in the fourth to give the Mavericks a strong lead.
The Dragons didn’t roll over, though, scoring three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to keep themselves in the game and holding Anderson County at zero runs for the fifth and sixth innings. Unfortunately for the Dragons, a home run with two runners on base put Anderson County up 11-6 over the Dragons, and with their last time at bat, Clinton only managed a single run.
Haden Hartgrove led on the mound for the Mavericks, putting up 19 first-pitch strikes alongside three strikeouts and a 2.0 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched).
Mac Lowe pitched for the Dragons, finishing with 15 first-pitch strikes before being relieved by Ethan Tinker.
Tinker threw 12 first-pitch strikes and got six strikeouts, with a WHIP of 2.40.
At the plate, Jacob Brock and Luke Lowery led for the Mavs, finishing alongside Wyatt Cox with three hits apiece.
Lowery finished with five RBIs for the Mavs, followed by Connor Tackett with three.
For the Dragons, Daniel Burke led with two RBIs.
Rob Stacy, head coach for the Dragons, said he was pleased with his team.
“I’m very proud of the guys,” he said. “One, I’m proud of how they conduct themselves. We’re starting three freshmen. That’s a big thing. We’ve played against some tough teams and played some tough games and it’s put us in situations like this. The fight that we had this entire game was something. The chips may not be falling for us right now, but with the way our guys compete and work every day, our time is coming.
“Some of the hits fell for them, some of them didn’t fall for us,” Stacy said. “Some of their guys stepped up in big situations. I couldn’t be more proud of these boys, though. From where they came from in the past, playing a team like that — they’ve grown two-fold, and I cannot wait to see them the rest of the season. It’s a process, and it’s been a fun process.”
Stacy said that, while he’s proud of the entire team, he’s especially so of the younger boys.
“I’m really proud of our young guys and their work ethic,” he said. “For a bunch of guys that haven’t played a lot of summer ball or fancy travel teams and are young and maybe haven’t played guys like this? There was no back-down in them. If I could share anything at all, I love how our guys compete. It’s a big time for us and a big time for the program. It’s refreshing. I know the record doesn’t reflect that, but when you’re playing the 20th-ranked schedule in the state, it’s going to be tough — and that’s what prepares us for nights like this and gets us ready to compete.”
Cory Stooksbury, head coach of the Mavericks, said that even though the game didn’t start the way they were expecting, his boys had a big night.
“It started the opposite way we’ve started the last few games,” he said. “We’ve been scoring early and scoring first, but this time, they just hit us first. Really hats off to my guys that when they hit us, we punched back. They could have easily rolled over after giving up three runs in the first two, but they came back. I think the best word to describe us was just resilient.
“We had some guys with some big nights. Wyatt Cox was awesome. He’s been waiting for that kind of breakout night and he had it, and it was awesome. He was three for four RBI. We had the home run from Luke Lowery, another from Connor Tackett. Jacob Brock was five for five on quality at-bats.”
Stooksbury also said that the game was supposed to be exciting, because it is a rivalry game, and it certainly didn’t disappoint in that respect.
“I have an immense amount of respect for Coach Stacy,” Stooksbury said. “This is the first time we’ve got to have this game since it was canceled last year.
“His guys played hard, just like ours. Clinton and Anderson County — this game is supposed to be hard fought and emotional and high energy, and it was all those things.
“I enjoyed it and it was a fun night,” Stooksbury said.