T.A. Dugger drops hard-fought game to Liberty Bell

Published 1:45 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2024

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By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

Good baseball teams often learn the best lessons from hard losses. Coach Korey Hardin certainly hopes that’s the case as his team dropped a hard-fought game on the road to the Liberty Bell Patriots Tuesday night, 7-5. This game piggybacks off a 3-2 loss to the Patriots Monday night. “After the game, I told the guys all we can do is learn from this and get back to work. In baseball, you always have to be getting better,” Coach Hardin shared.

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The game started out well for the Junior Cyclones, who jumped out to a 4-1 lead after their share of the second inning. Mason Treadway and Evan Chambers picked up RBIs in the inning, as they both hit singles to center field. Unfortunately, the lead would be short-lived, as the Patriots scored three runs in the top of the second, sparked by a Gray Spence single, tying the game at four all.

The game stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth when the Patriots scored three runs off three base hits and three walks. Both teams went down quietly in the fifth inning. The Cyclones got the bats going in the top of the 6th with time running out in an hour and 45-minute time limit. Alister Sumner started by hitting a line drive to left and Mason Treadway hit a hard grounder up the middle. The second baseman beat the ball down but made an errant throw to first, pulling the first baseman off the bag. As Treadway ran through the line, the umpire declared the runner to be tagged out; however, it was fairly clear that the first baseman missed the tag. Regrettably, for the Cyclones, the umpire did not see it that way. So instead of what should have been bases loaded with one out, the Cyclones picked up their second out. Sumner scampered home to cut the deficit to two off a wild pitch, but the game ended on a Cyclones strikeout, dropping the Junior Cyclones to 9-2 on the season.

Chambers and Reece finished the game with multiple hits. Evan Chambers pitched three innings off the mound, giving up 4 runs with 5 strikeouts. Nolan Loveday pitched an inning of hitless relief. Perhaps the most telling mark of the game was that the Cyclones surrendered six walks while the Patriots gave up none. “You have to give the other team credit; they played great baseball. We outhit them but didn’t capitalize on our opportunities. In defeat, we can learn the most. We will get back after it today and refocus. We have a great group of kids, and I believe this will light a fire under them,” Coach Hardin added. The Junior Cyclones will play on Saturday at 1 pm at Northeast Community Credit Park Field against Wise Virginia-LF Addington MS.

Junior Varsity – Liberty Bell 15, T.A. Dugger 5

Liberty Bell used an 8-run 3rd inning to distance themselves in this game. Cooper Kleinsmith led the JV squad with two base hits, while Callen Reed, A. Shelby, Levi Yancey, and Ryan Presnell all chipped in with base hits. The T.A. Dugger JV squad will play a doubleheader at home Wednesday night against Ross Robinson at 5 pm.