Three outs can be tough enough to come by for a defense. Trying to get four per inning is nearly impossible.
In committing seven errors Friday night, Ashland was relegated to trying to do just that, and expectedly did not have much success as Greenup County turned the seven miscues into seven runs to claim a 7-4 victory at Alumni Field.
The fielding woes started early for the Tomcats, as both the second and third batters of the game reaching via an error, but it wasn’t solely the defense's lapses that doomed Ashland. It was also the Musketeers timely hitting.
Every time it looked like Ashland was going to escape with only limited damage, Greenup County found a way to scratch across another run.
In the first inning it was Korey Morris who delivered a two-out RBI single. Zach Hutchinson took his turn, doing the same in the third.
“We really battled at the plate and came up with some hits at opportune times," said Greenup County coach Greg Logan.
Ashland (16-8) coach Jeff Wilcox said it is difficult to beat a team the caliber of Greenup County when you give them one or two extra outs.
“When you give a team like Greenup extra outs, you are not going to beat a team like them,” Wilcox said. “Give them credit, they kept putting the ball in play.”
Even when Ashland wasn’t making mistakes, Greenup County was still able to find a way to score. The Musketeers used four base hits to score four times in the fourth inning. Jared Hunt, J.B. Brown, and Morris all had run-scoring singles in the fourth frame.
After the fourth, Ashland dodged trouble on several more occasions to keep Greenup County scoreless in the final three innings to give itself a chance to get back in the game.
The Tomcats tried to make things interesting in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two runs on Cameron Fritz’s two-run double to deep left field. Hutchinson, though, shut down the Ashland rally two batters later by getting Jake Hall to pop out to center field.
Hutchinson sat down Ashland in order over the final two innings.
“He gutted another good performance out,” Logan said of his senior pitcher. “It takes him until about the third or fourth inning to really get loose, but then he starts to spot the ball well.”
Ashland, which came in winners of nine in a row, had been fielding the ball very well of late.
“We have been playing really good defense lately,” Wilcox said. “But tonight it was like it was two and a half weeks ago. We got to come back (Saturday) against a good Wheelersburg team and get things going again.”
Greenup County (16-9) has now won three consecutive game and six of its last seven.
GREENUP CO. 201 400 0 — 7 9 2
ASHLAND 020 002 0 — 4 6 7
Hutchinson and Coldiron. Hall, Cox (4) and Fritz. W – Hutchinson. L – Hall. 2B – Stanley (GC), Hutchinson (GC), Slone (A), Fritz (A), Yongue (A).