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Indians Capitalize on Red Hawk Errors to Win Pitching Duel

*The Indians started off last week with 2 wins on a rainy night against District foe Stewart Co.  Then in hosting the Good Day to Play Tournament lost a couple of hard fought games to Clarksville NE and Sycamore. The Indians turned things around to start this week with a Big District Win against Creekwood 4-2.

By Bob Isbell

The Harpeth Indians won a 4-2 thriller over the Creek Wood Red Hawks Monday night in varsity baseball play at home.  Devin Presley went the distance for Harpeth and notched the win. Presley gave up only two runs on four Creek Wood hits, struck out nine and walked two.  Kevin Saleski also went the distance for Creek Wood and was saddled with the loss.  Saleski’s stats were almost identical to Presley’s when considering hits, walks, and strikeouts. Saleski gave up four hits, struck out eight Harpeth batters and walked two. However, the Indians took advantage of four Creek Wood errors while committing only two defensive miscues to win the pitching duel.

Brent Burger drifted back into short right centerfield to snag a fly ball off the bat of Tyler Hudgins for the first out of the game.  Jamie Williams reached on a mishandled ground ball to second. Williams was retired at second as Aaron Lee reached on a fielder’s choice. Presley jumped out to a quick 0 and 2 count on the Red Hawk cleanup hitter, Saleski. Saleski then took the third pitch for a ball before knocking the following fastball over the left field fence for a two-run homer. Garrett Smith was hit by a pitch to lead off Harpeth’s half of the first inning.  With Bryce Baker at the plate Smith went to second on a botched pickoff play and advanced to third on a wild pitch.  Ethan Hurt grounded out but picked up an RBI as Smith scored on the play to narrow the Creek Wood lead to 2-1.

Wyatt Duchane led off the top of the second with a single to the hole. Presley threw a fastball by Dalton Nash to record the first out.  Isaac Daniels reached on a fielder’s choice, and Austin Ornick was retired by Newton unassisted on a groundball to first to close out the top of the second inning. Presley flied out to first to lead off the bottom of the second, but he made Saleski work for the out which took ten pitches to record.  Harpeth first baseman, Tanner Newton, stepped in and ripped an 0 and 2 pitch to leftfield for a single, and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  Catcher, Garrison Price was issued a base on balls, and Newton moved to third on another wild pitch, but neither team could push a run across the plate in the second.

Presley walked Hudgins and Williams to start the third before striking out Lee and Saleski.  Neblett grounded to Foriest at 3rd who threw to Newton at 1st to close out the top half of the third.  Bryce Baker reached on throwing error with one out in the bottom of the third but was caught stealing for out number two.  Hurt popped up to second to end the third.

The Red Hawks made a good effort to get something going in the top of the fourth, as Douchane lined a single up the middle for his second hit of the game and went to second on a wild pitch. Presley struck out the next two Red Hawks. Douchane advanced to third on a single to the hole by Austin Ornick.  An error on the play allowed Ornick to advance to second.  With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Presley got Hudgins to hit an easy ground ball to Burger at second who threw to Newton at first in time to retire Hudgins.   In the bottom of the fourth Brandon Foriest smashed a line drive deep to right field, but the Creek Wood right-fielder made a nice snag for the out.  Presley followed with high pop-up near home plate which was misplayed by the Red Hawk catcher and fell in for a fair ball.  The play ended with Presley standing on second due to good, heads-up base running.  Presley advanced to 3rd on a ground ball to short by Newton but remained stranded on third at the end of the inning.

No Red Hawk batters reached safely in the top of the fifth.  Harpeth rallied for two runs in the bottom of the fifth. With bases empty and one out Harpeth DH, Trevor Krantz, found himself behind in the count 0 and 2.  Saleski wasted the third pitch in the dirt for ball one.  Krantz lined the next pitch to left-centerfield for a single just beyond the reach of the Red Hawk shortstop.  Garrett Smith reached on a throwing error by Saleski and went to second on the play, as Krantz advanced to third.  Bryce Baker then stepped to the plate and pulled the ball down the right field line for a 2 RBI triple to give Harpeth a 3-2 lead.

Offensively, Creek Wood could muster only two fly balls and a strikeout in the top of the sixth.  Presley led off the bottom of the sixth for Harpeth with a line drive single to left and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tanner Newton.  Garrison Price reached on a dropped third strike with Presley scoring on the play to widen the Harpeth lead to 4-2 at the end of six complete innings.

Presley struck out the first Creek Wood batter he faced in the top of the 7th on three pitches.  Austin Ornick then stepped to the plate and took a breaking ball for strike one, and swung at and missed another off-speed pitch for strike two.  Ornick then hit a slow roller down the first base line.  Presley made a nice play to field the ball and throw to first to retire Ornick.  The pressure was then on Red Hawk leadoff hitter, Tyler Hudgins, to keep the game going.  Presley got Hudgins to hit a ground ball to Foriest at third who threw to Newton at first to end the game.  Final Score:  Harpeth 4 –  Creek Wood 2.


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