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Commanders fall to Marion County in season opener

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By Tyler Brown

Washington County’s baseball season opener started off well, but a few late-game errors led to a disappointing 4-2 loss to the Marion County Knights Friday.

Head coach Adam Blair said his team played well overall, but errors kept them from keeping the momentum, and Marion County took advantage.

“We started off scoring runs in the first two innings and playing well on both sides of the ball,” Blair said. “Overall, we played well for the first game.”

John Floyd and T.J. Graves got the Commanders on the board early with RBI in the first two innings, putting them up 2-0. Blair said the team’s pitching was outstanding, with Josh Graves getting six strikeouts in five innings and Landon Taylor adding three strikeouts.

“(Josh) Graves pitched excellent and gave up zero earned runs,” he said. ”(Landon) Taylor pitched well with 26 pitches.”

After a scoreless third, it seemed like Washington County was in control, but three runs were scored off errors, and Marion County’s Nicholas O’Daniel singled off Graves, driving in another run.

“We gave up four runs in the fourth on four errors and weren’t able to ever take back the lead,” Blair said. “Overall, we played well in six innings, but couldn’t stop the bleeding in the fourth.”

Washington County lost the game despite outhitting the opposition 5-3, putting players in prime position to extend its early lead. However, the Knights’ Andrew Spalding who, after allowing the first two runs of the game, struck out 12 Commanders and held them at bay the rest of the way. Blair said something the team must improve upon is making the plays to allow for more runs and force the opposing team to work from behind.

“We outhit them 5-3, but need to cut down on our overall strikeouts and put more pressure on the defense,” Blair said.

The Commanders have games coming up at Adair County on Thursday, and they play their home opener against Campbellsville on Friday, so despite the loss, Blair and his team are looking forward, knowing they will have to execute their game plan against quality opponents.

“Overall, we played well for the first game, but Marion took advantage of our errors,” Blair said. “Not the outcome we would have liked, but we understand what hurt us and how to build on that.”

The Commanders’ game against Adair County is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Adair County High School. Friday’s game against Campbellsville is also scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Idle Hour Park.