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By: Corey Stott
MEMPHIS, Mo.- The Scotland County varsity baseball team has had their share of ups and downs thus far in the early part of the 2023 campaign. Last Monday night, Coach Rod Sears addressed some of the defensive miscues that had plaqued his team by shuffling the roster a bit. The move seemed to pay off, as the Tigers took the win in their conference opener versus Fayette at Tiger Field by a score of 4-2.
Vince Dale has emerged as one of the aces on this Tiger team and he got the start on the mound for Scotland County. Haden Kelly got the starting nod for Fayette.
Both teams made contact and both teams played solid defense for the majority of the first three innings. But the Tigers finally broke the glass with the first runs of the game in the bottom of the third. Elias Hatfield and Dale both earned back-to-back two-out walks. Ian Wilson doubled to right field, scoring Hatfield. The next batter, Lucas Durflinger, doubled to left to score Carter Clatt, who was courtesy running for Dale. The Tigers led 3-0.
The Tigers added some insurance to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Owen Triplett drew a two-out walk and then advanced to second on an error. A Hatfield single to right scored Triplett and the Tigers led 4-0 after four.
Things got a little more interesting than Scotland County would have preferred in the top of the sixth. With Triplett on the mound, the Falcons drew a walk, got a steal and reached on an error with one out to put runners at second and third. A two-out walk then loaded the bases. Kaleb Friebe lined a shot to right to score a run. Thomas Elliott drew a bases-loaded walk to score another run before Triplett finally shut the side down. The Falcons had trimmed the deficit to 4-2.
The Scotland County defense settled in as did Triplett and the Tigers closed the game out with a 4-2 win over Fayette. The Tigers improved to 1-0 in the Lewis and Clark Conference and 2-2 overall.
Dale got the start and the win for the Tigers. He faced 15 batters in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one, allowing only one hit and no runs. Triplett worked the final 2 1/3 innings.
Kelly got the start and the loss for the Falcons. He worked five innings versus 25 batters. He struck out four and walked five, allowing six hits and four runs, three of which were earned. Moe Cisneros worked the final inning for Fayette.
Wilson was 2 for 2 at the plate for the Tigers with an RBI. As a team, the Tigers were 7 of 23 at the plate, a pretty impressive .304 clip. Meanwhile, Fayette was held to just hitting .125 as a team.