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Clear Fork too much for Edison in district semifinals

By JOSHUA MORGRET • May 18, 2017 at 9:55 PM

SHELBY — The Colts set the tone of Thursday’s Div. III district semifinal early

Clear Fork scored two unearned runs in the first inning off of Edison ace Clay Cooper. With the bases loaded, Gavin Bailey hit a ball to third base that was misplayed, allowing Thomas Staab and Hunter Boyer to score.

"They hit the ball hard," Edison coach Sean Hoover said. "They hit some balls that we need to make plays on in the first couple of innings. We let them get a lead, but it was 2-0 for a long time. We had our chances as well. I think the biggest thing was they had execution when the opportunities presented themselves. We did not execute as well in those situations."

Cooper struggled throughout the game. The senior needed just 78 pitches in a no-hit shutout of Crestview last week in the sectional championship, but labored to 102 pitches in 4 one-third innings. He was already at 65 pitches after two innings.

"I don't know if it was anything they were doing necessarily, but Clay was not as sharp as he has been," Hoover said. "A lot of balls were close and he was not getting the calls. You have to battle through those things. If we make a couple of plays behind him, the pitch count is lower and he is fresher later in the game."

The Colts busted the game open in the fifth inning. Hoyer and AJ Blubaugh each reached on an error and both scored on a single by Paul Francisco. That ended Cooper's day and brought on Bryce Roberts in relief. Hunter Auck and Staab each singled to load the bases. Jared Lind's walk brought in a run, and Luke Clark followed with a two-run single for a 7-0 lead.

Clear Fork saw 147 pitches in just six innings, drawing six walks. That, coupled with six errors by the Chargers doomed Edison.

The Colts’ starting pitcher Mitchell Dulin (8-2) allowed one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out two.

"They executed with guys on base and got the two-strike hit through the infield," Hoover said. "We had the same opportunities and did not get those hits through."

Edison finished the season with a record of 15-11.

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