CLAY CITY -- The Clay City Eels put together perhaps their best pitching and defensive game of the season on Monday night, but they couldn't find an offensive rhythm while falling 1-0 to visiting Vincennes Rivet.
Klay Knox threw a complete game for Clay City, going all seven innings while allowing just five hits and striking out five batters. However, a leadoff walk to Adam Carra in the third inning and a follow-up double by Heath Bilskie put runners in scoring position for the Patriots with no outs. But Knox got Alex Halter to foul out before coaxing a flyball out of Jonathan Halter for the second out. However, Carra was able to tag and score on Halter's flyout to score the lone run in the contest.
"We just couldn't string together any hits," commented coach Michael Owens. "We had our opportunities."
The Eels put their leadoff hitter on in the fourth inning as Knox reached on an error by the Patriots' shortstop. Stephen Johnson came in and bunted Knox to second but Vincennes' pitcher Alex Halter got Derek Miller and Dustin Griffith to end the threat.
In the sixth, Ryan Sutton led off the frame with a double, but was stranded when Halter got popouts from Tim Shaw and Knox and a strikeout from Johnson.
Meanwhile, Knox was still putting up zeros for the Eels.
He got into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning as Matt Igel reached first on a throwing error to lead off the inning. He moved to third on a wildpitch before Matt Plahn reached on a bloop single. He was caught stealing for the inning's first out before Alex Sievers walked. Igel was then picked off third and Knox got Ernie Stoops to popout to end the threat.
"Our defense is definitely getting better," commented Owens. "Klay (Knox) did a nice job pitching tonight, hopefully we can put this all together and get some wins."
Clay City made one last run in the bottom half of the seventh inning as Miller singled to leftfield before Griffith moved him to second with a bunt. Andre Hayes then walked and Kyle Grassick came in to pinchrun.
Miller moved to third on a wildpitch and the Eels had their best chance of the game with just one out, but Halter caught Grassick leaning too far off first base and got Matt Vansickle to strikeout to end the game.
"This was kind of a tight game situation and, for some of our younger players, this is the first time they've been in this type of game. But hopefully this is a learning experience and we can put it all together soon."
The Eels (1-7 overall will take on Bloomfield tonight on the road beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Clay City Baseball
At Clay City
2B -- VR (Bilskie, Igel), CC (Sutton).