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Commanders go in wrong direction with pitcher lost
May 25, 2007 12:00 am
MURFREESBORO — Look on the bright side, Friendship Christian will have its pitching at full strength when the Commanders begin their climb through the Class A State Tournament's loser's bracket today at Riverdale.
Stephen Pryor and Cody Searcey, Tuesday's scheduled starter and No. 3 hurler, respectively, got lost on their way to the ballpark Tuesday and Coach John McNeal threw freshman Mitch Miller against Huntingdon, which hammered the Commanders 11-1.
"I don't know where they ended up," McNeal said of the pitchers. "It got to where it was getting late and the game was beginning to start. Stephen, in his preparation to pitch, he likes a lot of time and he didn't have a lot of time. [Brian] Cravens just pitched Friday."
Looking over his options, McNeal followed the advice of pitching coach Jody Atwood, who tabbed Miller, an infielder who hadn't pitched any varsity innings this year. But his repertoire if fastball, curve and changeup made him Atwood's choice.
"He threw good," McNeal said of Miller, who was charged with 10 runs [seven earned] on 13 hits in four innings before Jordan Dennis and Steven Nolan finished up. Huntingdon [35-4] run-ruled the Commanders with a run in the bottom of the sixth.
"We made errors and they would get a bloop hit," McNeal said. "The infield would be in and they hit a bloop where if we had been back the shortstop would have caught it. Then they hit it hard. They were getting everything they could.
"Their kid [Clift Spencer] threw well [three hits, 11 strikeouts] threw well. We couldn't get anything against him."
With the exception of a second-inning home run by Jon Miller [Mitch's senior brother] which tied the game 1-1. But Huntingdon scored three times in the bottom of the second, twice in the third and four more in the fourth.
Cole McAdams blasted a first-inning home run for Huntingdon.
In the other half of the Riverdale bracket, Richland rolled past Unaka 10-0, setting up a 10 a.m. elimination game this morning as Friendship [26-13] takes on the Rangers with the winner playing again at 6 p.m. tonight against the Huntingdon-Richland loser [they play at noon today]. Pryor will pitch against Unaka with Cravens set to go tonight.
"There won't be another team that has all their pitchers ready," McNeal said of the second day.