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By DAVE TAYLOR
The Trimble Banner
The Trimble County Raiders struggled defensively on the baseball diamond Monday. The result was a 5-3 loss to visiting Gallatin County.
“The bottom line tonight, no walks, no errors, we win,” Trimble Coach Frank Ragland said. “That’s the difference in the game.”
After getting out the side in order in the top half of the first inning, Trimble put a run on the scoreboard when Michael Dunaway powered a double deep into center field scoring Brian Haney who had walked earlier.
Trimble again retired the side in order in the top of the second. Trimble stranded a base runner in the bottom half of the inning after sophomore infielder Robert Harris was struck by a pitch but the Raiders couldn’t advance him.
Gallatin scored in the third inning when an error on a fielder’s throw to first with the bases loaded sent two Wildcats across the plate.
The wild throws to first “came at crucial times,” Ragland said.
A two base hit by Zack Beard in the bottom of the third sent Conner Beard across the plate to tie the score. But Trimble stranded two runners as the inning came to a close.
Both teams failed to score in the fourth inning but Gallatin drove in two runs in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. Trimble again stranded two runners on base in the bottom half of the inning without sending anyone across the plate. The Wildcats added a run in the top of the sixth to make the score 5-2. The Raiders again stranded two base runners in the bottom of the sixth.
“Gallatin played a perfect defensive game. Every run we got we earned ourselves. Every run they got was unearned,” Ragland said.
After retiring the side in order in the top half of the seventh inning, the Raiders threatened offensively in their final bat. Leadoff hitter Conner Beard rapped a single to left field, then succeeded in stealing second on a wild pitch that got away from Gallatin’s catcher. The Wildcats got Trimble’s next two batters out but Gallatin’s relief pitcher struck Hunter Duncan with a pitch and Trimble had runners on first and second with two outs. Andie Young powered a single to right field scoring Beard to make the score 5-3. Hunter was held at third base and with runners at first and third Jacob Linden came to bat and popped out to shallow center field for the game-ending out.
“We had a shot (in the last inning),” Ragland said. “We didn’t go down without a fight. I was glad to see that but the bottom line is we should’ve never been in that situation. It should have been at the worst 2 to nothing going into the top of the seventh. We get ‘em out in the top of the seventh and it’s our game. We had more opportunities than those three runs to get runs in and we just struggled at the plate a little bit tonight and didn’t get ‘em in.”
The Raiders, now 3-3 on the season, traveled to Doss High School for a game yesterday. They return to action on the home field against Williamstown at 6 p.m. tomorrow.