By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
The 2009 campaign came to an end for the Washington County Commanders last Tuesday with a first-round, 7-4 loss to Nelson County in the 19th District Tournament.
The Cardinals jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first as Washington County starter Joseph Hamilton got off to a rough start. The Commanders tied it up in the bottom of the first on a lead-off triple by Fergus McCain, who scored on an RBI single by Alex Simms. Joe Joe Simms singled and Alex advanced to third on a heads-up play when the third baseman for Nelson County charged to second and no one covered third. That set up an RBI fielder’s choice by Jordan Settles. Lee Mudd knocked Joe Joe home for the third WC run of the inning.
Hamilton settled down after the Commander’s deficit was erased, cruising along for the next four innings as his team took the lead, 4-3, when third baseman Fergus McCain scored on a passed ball in the third.
Nelson County starting pitcher Wes Connaughty was relieved by closer Ricky Ricketts in the fifth.
Washington County was six outs away from advancing to the title game, but things began to unravel in the top of the sixth.
Hamilton struggled with his control and walked the bases loaded to set the plate for Cardinal Jacob Millsap, who ripped a bases-clearing double to right field to put the Cards on top 6-4.
Nelson added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on an RBI double by Vance Williams.
Ricketts got two quick groundouts in the bottom of the seventh before striking out Commander pinch hitter Seth Mattingly for the final out.
Washington County ends the season at 14-12 overall and 4-4 in district play.