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Nine-run first carried Dogs past LR, 14-2

Posted: April 2, 2014 4:16 p.m.
Updated: April 4, 2014 5:00 a.m.

It’s a game like this which has a coach hoping his team does not develop bad habits.
With nationally ranked A.C. Flora coming to town for a key Region 4-AAA game tonight, the Camden baseball team had some housework left to be done on Tuesday in Hopkins. Using a nine-run first frame, the visiting Bulldogs drubbed Lower Richland, 14-2, in a contest stopped after five innings by the 10-run rule.
The early lead allowed CHS head coach Denny Beckley to go to his bench early and the non-starters responded.
“We have some really good guys on our team and I was glad that we were able to get them some playing time,” Beckley said after his team improved to 3-3 in conference play.”Getting nine runs in the first inning gave us the opportunity to play all our guys.
“Everybody got at least two at-bats and our guys deserve that because every one of them works hard. It kills me that a lot of our guys don’t get more opportunities than they get.”
One person who made the most of his chances was Austin Sheheen, who had two hits in as many trips to the plate as he improved to 3-for-3 on the season. Starters Ross Hough, Lawson Stokes, Carson Morgan and Tyler Jordan each had two-hit nights with Morgan driving in a career-best three runs.
Camden was able to put this one on ice with its nine-run opening salvo which began when Darius Smith was hit by a pitch. Hough then had a one-out hit before Austen Haney singled to load the bases for Bennett Harrelson whose single plated Smith while Hough was thrown out at the plate for the second out.
Will Abbott re-loaded the bases with a walk before Stokes drove home a pair with a single to left field. A Morgan single drove in the fourth run. Smith cracked a two-run single on his second at-bat of the inning while Hough’s two-run single drove home runs eight and nine.
The Diamond Hornets reached CHS starter Abbott for a pair in the home half of the first which Camden answered by scoring two in the second as Abbott got aboard with a one-out walk which was followed by a Stokes double. Morgan got both runners across with a single.
The Dogs scored solo runs in the third, fourth and fifth frames. In the third, Zach Boykin reached on a leadoff walk and scored when Chase Thompson drew a bases-loaded walk. An inning later, Sheheen lined a single off the pitcher’s shin and scored on a single off the bat of his cousin, William Spring, to make it 13-2.
In the fifth, Jordan got on with a two-out walk and scored when Sheheen roped a double.
Abbott went the first three innings, allowing two runs on three hits while fanning eight batters. Jordan worked the final two frames and faced six batters with three strikeouts.
Offensively, Camden (5-5) had 14 hits on a night which the Dogs had to adjust to slower pitching from the LR staff.
“Coach (Brian) Kersey and Coach (Casey) Faulkenberry have worked real hard with our hitters on making adjustments at the plate,” Beckley said of two of his assistant coaches. “We had a good round of batting practice before the game and it carried over to the game.
“I thought our guys showed a lot of maturity versus their pitchers who were throwing a lot of off-speed stuff against us without the velocity we have seen in our other games.”

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