CLARKSVILLE — The Generals’ bats picked the right time to heat up.
One night after a bad hitting night in a loss to New Albany, Clarksville (7-10, 2-3 Mid-Southern Conference) roughed up Charlestown (11-5, 2-3) starter Tregg Scherer to the tune of five runs on nine hits on its way to a 6-3 victory over the Pirates at Wayne Stock Field on Thursday.
“They did a really good job today. They came out ready to go,” Charlestown coach Ricky Romans said. “They had a great game plan at the plate for Tregg. Tregg throws hard. He’s normally got good off-speed stuff. Today wasn’t his best outing.”
Clarksville plated five of its six runs in two-out situations.
“It’s always big when kids don’t give up, don’t lose focus, get somebody on and just kind of keep pushing and keep trying, and make the other team make mistakes,” Clarksville coach Chris Kane said. “That’s a big part of it — just making sure we get after it and swing the bats.”
Scherer pitched a 1-2-3 first inning. But after that, Clarksville got the hit parade rolling.
With one out in the second, the Generals’ Tanner Wallace cracked a 2-2 pitch back to the mound, but Scherer was in no position to handle it. Clarksville’s Wes Rittman knocked a double to push Wallace over to third, and an out later, a Scherer wild pitch allowed Wallace to cross the plate. Scherer struck out the Generals’ Wyatt Kissel on the next pitch to get out of the inning.
Clarksville built its lead to 3-0 with four more hits in the third inning. Nathaniel Jones got the rally started with a one-out single to right field, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Jones. Drew Kissel’s single plated Nathaniel Jones.
Kissel moved to second on another opposite-field single by Jeremy Noe, and Kissel scored on a hard grounder up the middle by Wallace.
The fourth inning would be Scherer’s last. The Generals’ Zach Mikel led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wyatt Kissel. Nathaniel Jones brought Mikel home on a single up the middle.
Charlestown’s Jordan Hensley-Cole relieved Scherer, who moved to third, and allowed another run to score when Nick Jones bashed a 2-0 pitch to the base of the wall in left-center field to plate Nathaniel Jones, and it was 5-0 Clarksville after four.
Hensley-Cole surrendered one more Clarksville run in the fifth, when Wallace followed a Noe double with an RBI single to make it a 6-0 lead. Hensley-Cole prevented any further damage by drawing two ground balls and a pop-up to third.
“This is the first year we’ve asked Jordan to get on the mound and he’s done a great job,” Romans said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him everytime I put him out there.”
Meanwhile, Drew Kissel had a one-hit shutout going through six innings, but couldn’t stop Charlestown from attempting a rally in the final inning.
“He was competitive. He kind of thought he was having a moving strike zone up there a little bit, so he was getting frustrated early,” Kane said. “He buckled down, threw the ball hard, threw it well and struck some kids out and got big outs when he needed them.”
Alex Smith spoiled the party by leading off the Charlestown seventh with a double down the left-field line, just one pitch after he nearly fouled out attempting to bunt his way on. But Rittman didn’t move quickly enough to glove the ball before it touched the ground.
“There was plenty of time to make a play on that ball. The kid was 3 feet back and didn’t come up,” Kane said. “That’s where we don’t have the cutthroat mindset yet. Go pick up the guy who’s throwing the one-hit shutout.”
The floodgates opened for three Charlestown runs in the inning. Scherer knocked a two-RBI single, and Ryan Gorbandt slapped another hit.
Wallace was a perfect 3-for-3 on the night with two RBIs.
Clarksville will host Brownstown Central on Monday, while Charlestown travels to Rock Creek Community Academy today.
CHARLESTOWN 000 000 3—3 4 2
CLARKSVILLE 012 210 x—6 11 3
W — Kissel (3-4). L — Scherer (3-2). 2B — Rittman (Cl), Ni. Jones (Cl), Noe (Cl), Smith (CT).
Records — Charlestown 11-5, 2-3 MSC; Clarksville 7-10, 2-3.