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Dogs end skid by drubbing mistake-prone Caps

Posted: April 12, 2018 12:04 p.m.
Updated: April 13, 2018 1:00 a.m.

While their problems at the plate continued, the Camden High baseball team is not about to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Taking advantage of six hits and using 10 errors and nine walks from host Columbia High, the Bulldogs snapped a four-game skid with a 16-1 trouncing of the Capitals in a Tuesday night affair which all but secured a AAA playoff berth for Denny Beckley’s squad which improved to 2-3 in league play.

Beckley said the Caps helped his team along on Tuesday.

“Especially with walks,” he said. “Our guys did a good job of not being overly aggressive at the plate which can hurt you in a game like this one. I thought we did a good job of being patient and swinging at the strikes they threw.”

Camden sits in fourth place in the five-team Region 4-AAA circuit with three games remaining. Win all three and CHS can finish anywhere from second to fourth, depending on what happens in games involving conference champion Indian Land, Fairfield Central (4-3) and Chester (3-3) next week.

As for Tuesday’s blowout, the Bulldogs scored 13 unanswered runs in the second and third frames to close this pairing in three innings by the 15-run rule. Five Dogs had multi-RBI nights led by Bennett Caldwell who knocked in four runs.

Jake Tanner got the starting nod the Camden and the right-hander allowed one run on a hit while fanning six to get the three-inning victory.

Brady White doubled home Zane Cook with the game’s first run in the top of the first and courtesy runner Sam Ferguson made it 2-0, coming across on a Holden Bunch single. Bunch made it 3-0, scoring on an error on a ball hit by Caldwell.

Camden answered a Columbia run in the home half of the first with five in the second with Cook helping himself with a two-run single. Caldwell later drove in three runs with a bases loaded hit to the gap in left center.

An inning later, the Dogs upped the lead to 15 runs by sending 13 players to the play in an eight-run top of the third in which Jacob Jordan collected his team-best second hit of the night in an inning in which the Caps committed half of their 10 errors while the hosts also issued five walks.

“Everybody got a chance to play, which is always good,” Beckley said. “One thing we talked about on the way over there was that we had to improve our focus and keep working on doing the little things right.

“We told our guys that we needed to take care of business quickly and then, we could cruise from there, which we did.”

One night earlier, Camden lost to visiting Wilson Hall, 3-2, in a non-region contest at American Legion Park.

The Barons got to Camden starter Tate Abbott for two runs in the top of the first before the sophomore was pulled from the game due to illness after getting one out. He was relieved by Holden Bunch.

“Tate was sick with a virus all weekend,” Beckley said. “He really didn’t have his stuff in this game. It seems like, with this team, every time we make a little bit of progress, we revert back because of an injury or, some other issue.”

The Dogs cut the lead in half in the second as Bunch reached on a walk before the CHS reliever was replaced on first by courtesy runner Andrea Leaird who stole second and scored on a fielding error on a ball hit by McKenzie Barrineau.

The visitors scored another run in the sixth which was answered by a run in Camden’s half of the inning.

Barrineau got aboard on a one-out error before Sam Ferguson was hit by a pitch. A Tanner single drove in the second run in an inning in which Camden had the bases loaded with one out and were unable to push another run across.

Camden threatened in the seventh as Brady White was hit by a pitch to open the final half-inning. The Dogs were unable send the game into extra innings as Daniel Reynolds, the third Wilson Hall pitcher of the game, left men on first and second by getting a pair of strikeouts.

The Bulldogs had three hits, struck out 10 times and left nine runners on base including seven in scoring position on a night in which Camden missed bunt signs and had miscues on the base paths. Beckley took the blame for those errors.

“I was as frustrated after this game as much as I’d been after any game this season,” Beckley said. “There were three or four situations in this game where we made mistakes. This was our 19th game and, we’re not supposed to be making those kind of mistakes.

“I’ve been positive and upbeat with this team but, this one’s on me.  We were not disciplined enough  in this type of a game. We did not recognize the importance of our mistakes and not making the same mistakes again.”

Abbott was relieved by Bunch in the top of the first inning with Bunch pitching 3.1 innings of one-hit ball in which he fanned three batters. Caldwell went the final 3.1 innings. The right-hander allowed three hits with a pair of strikeouts.

Beckley struck a positive note, though when talking about how having played through adversity will help his team over the next few weeks.

“This team is going to battle; they have had their share of adversity through the year,” he said. “If we continue to make and show signs of progress, by the end of the year, I think, that we’ll be pretty good.”

 

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