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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
One week you’re hot, the next week you’re not. If anyone ever had doubts that baseball is a game of streaks, they haven’t followed the Washington County Commanders the past couple of weeks.
After starting off the season with three consecutive wins, the Commanders have dropped four straight with losses last week against Russell County, Boyle County, Bethlehem and Marion County.
WC hosted Russell County last Tuesday and took a 13-3 defeat from the Lakers for their first loss of the season. Thursday, WC traveled to Boyle County, where they lost to the Rebels 6-1, falling to a 3-2 record on the season.
Friday, the Commanders began district play as they visited Bethlehem. The Commanders took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Eagles tied it up in the bottom of the inning. On the mound, WC’s Tyler Smith and Bethlehem’s Tommy Manion settled into a pitching duel for the second and third innings as neither team were able to plate any runs. In the top of the fourth, Washington County went ahead 2-1 as Joseph Hamilton took over for Smith.
Things stayed quiet until the bottom of the fifth when Bethlehem was able to capitalize on some Commander errors and managed to load the bases. The Eagles rallied for six runs in the frame, highlighted by a two-RBI double from Brian Crabtree and an RBI single by Corey Monin to take a 7-2 lead into the sixth.
Washington County made some noise of their own in the top of the sixth as a two-RBI single by Tyler Coulter helped WC tack four runs on the board to draw within one run.
Bethlehem added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 9-6 lead as the Commanders came to the plate for their final at-bats.
WC started to put something together in the seventh with a pair of singles off Eagle reliever Seth Clark, but with one out, the Commanders hit into a game-ending double play.
The Commanders took a 9-6 loss from the Eagles to even their record at 3-3 on the season.
The next day, the Commanders returned to Tom Bystrek Field to host the Marion County Knights.
WC plated a run in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. Fergus McCain was on the mound for the Commanders and held the Knights scoreless through the first four innings.
Marion County broke through in the top of the fifth, scoring three runs off McCain. The Commanders added a run in the bottom of the inning to climb within a run, 3-2.
Senior Joe Joe Simms came on in relief of junior McCain and pitched two innings of one-hit, shutout ball while striking out two and walking one.
Tyler Wright went the distance for the Knights as he held the Commanders scoreless through the final two innings to earn the complete-game, 3-2 victory. Wright gave up two earned runs on eight hits while striking out four and walking one.
Next up for the Commanders are road games in Lincoln and Woodford counties before they return home to face Campbellsville April 13 and Bethlehem April 14.
Follow the Commanders all season long with highlights and photos in The Springfield Sun and online at www.readthesun.com.