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Tigers take second round against Indians

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McClain's Cohen Six pitched 5.1 innings for the Tigers, while at the plate he was a perfect 3-for-3 in the win against Hillsboro. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

GREENFIELD — One day after falling to the Hillsboro Indians in Frontier Athletic Conference play, the McClain Tigers returned the favor on their home diamond by defeating the visiting Hillsboro Indians, 9-7 at Mitchell Park Tuesday. 

The Indians led 3-1 after the first inning, then held a 4-2 lead after three innings as each team plated a run in the third. From there, the Indians built a 6-2 lead with a two-run top of the fourth. 

McClain turned up their level of play in the bottom of the fifth with a three-run inning, followed by the Indians answering with a run in the top of the sixth. 

The Tigers had an answer of their own as they scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth for the eventual two-run win, splitting the season series with Hillsboro. 

HHS finished with seven runs, seven hits and no errors, while MHS had 13 hits and five errors in the win. 

“I finally felt like we started making a good approach at the plate, especially with runners in scoring position,” McClain assistant coach Keith Penwell said. “The last two days, we've left runners at second and third, runner at first and second with no outs, and couldn't get a run across. I thought they had a better approach the second half of this game, and they were just trying to drive the ball, keep it low and get the top half. I'm real proud of the way they changed their approach at the bat.

“These kids understand what adversity is. They’ve had it before, and they don't let it get them down. I just kept telling them, ‘keep fighting, keep fighting,’ you know, and they did. I'm super proud of them. These are great kids. I love these kids.”

Seth Weller and Cohen Six each had three hits for the Tigers, as Weller finished 3-for-4 with a double, three runs and one RBI. Six was 3-for-3 with a run, four RBI and a walk, and he also had multiple doubles in the win.  

Andrew Potts finished 2-for-3 with two runs and a walk, giving the Tigers three players with multi-hit games. 

Jayden Allison went 1-for-3 with a run, a double, two RBI and a walk. Owen Sykes was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, while teammate Kaden Penwell was 1-for-4. 

Connor McCune ended the game at 1-for-4, and Easton Ary finished 1-for-2 with a walk and a double.

Also for the Tigers, Carter Nelson scored a run, and Tanner O’Connor also scored a run. 

For Hillsboro, Zack Brown was 2-for-4 with two runs, and Walker Pence ended the game at 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI. 

Brayden Hunter scored one run and added an RBI. Gavin Greer finished at 1-for-4 with a run and one RBI. 

The Indians also had Nate Lane go 1-for-4, and Nic Burns ended his day at 1-for-3 with a run. Ben Miller forced a walk for HHS. 

Six had the no decision Tuesday vs. Hillsboro, where he pitched 5.1 innings, allowing seven runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk. Benny Vangundy was credited with the win, pitching 1.2 innings of relief, allowing no runs, no hits and no walks with one strikeout. 

“I thought Cohen did a great job,” Penwell said. “We made some errors and started giving away runs in the beginning. We finally cleaned that up, and then he threw really well, started hitting his spots. Then Benny came in and threw really well, so I’m proud of both of them.”

Hunter pitched one inning, allowing three earned runs off four hits and a walk. Lane pitched 4.1 innings, allowing three earned runs off five hits and four walks with five strikeouts. Zach Burwinkel pitched 0.2 innings, allowing no runs, one hit and no walks.

“[McClain] absolutely hit the ball hard. They did a lot of things right, and so did we. I mean, it wasn't like we had a terrible game. It’s just they hit the ball at opportune times, and our bats didn't show up at opportune time. Kudos to them. They're a good team,” HHS head coach Ben Miller said. 

“I am pleased. We have a long way to go, especially with our consistency, but as we call ourselves, the Tenacious 10 right now, we are getting more consistent. We are starting to play some good baseball, some competitive baseball. We're a young team. We have a lot of sophomores out there right now, and it is what it is. I mean, no excuses. We’ve just got to keep working hard and keep getting better and better.”

McClain’s win moves them to 9-10 overall and 3-7 in the FAC. HHS falls to 2-17 overall and 1-9 in the FAC. 

    301 201 0 — 7 7 0
MHS    101 034 x — 9 13 5

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