Times Sports Editor
The Clay County 15U All-Star team wrapped up its summer with a runner-up finish in state competition earlier this summer, putting together a 4-2 mark in tourney competition. The All-Stars fell in the title game to Plainfield by a 6-3 score.
Tournament play got off to a rocky start in the opener for Clay County as five errors and some solid pitching by Delta led to a 9-0 loss. Clay County was able to muster just five hits against a pair of Delta pitchers. Bubby Dickison was the lone player to have two hits for Clay County. Hunter Slack had a double in the loss.
The bats finally came alive in game two for the local All-Stars as a 16-hit attack led to a 15-1 pounding of Anderson.
Jacob Harden and Hunter Slack each went deep in the victory and Damon Bass, Tanner Knust, Harden, Tanner Nicholson, Zene Colson and JJ Nees each had two hits. Slack had a three-hit, four RBI game. Harden drove on a pair of runs and Nicholson had two doubles. Clay County was 9-for-16 at the plate with runners in scoring position.
Nate Thomas got the pitching victory as he allowed just four hits and one run over five innings of work while striking out seven Anderson batters.
Clay County stayed hot at the plate in its next contest, plowing past Connersville in a six-inning, 10-0 victory. The squad put forth a 15-hit attack led by a 3-for-4 game by Bubby Dickison, who drove in three runs. Harden and Bass each had home runs off Connersville's starting pitcher as Clay County scored three runs in the first inning and added two more in the third to take control.
Zene Colson had three hits and an RBI while Bass, Harden and Tanner Nicholson each posted multiple hit games. Harden also had three RBI in the win and Colson, Hunter Slack and Bass each drove in a run.
On the mound, Bass got the pitching win with three inning of scoreless work, allowing just one hit and striking out two. Thomas came in to finish off the victory with three innings of two-hit baseball and five strikeouts.
Clay County faced a second team from Anderson in the next contest and was able to tally three runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 8-4 lead and then withstood a two-run rally by Anderson in the bottom half of the frame to gain an 8-6 victory.
Harden and Slack each had two RBI in the win and Dickison had another multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Bass, Harden, Thomas and Colson each had hits with Thomas and Tanner Knust scoring twice.
Bass got the win in relief of Thomas, who started and went the first three innings, allowing two earned runs. Bass threw the final four frames, allowing three earned runs and striking out seven.
Clay County also received a forfeit victory during the tourney and reached the championship against Plainfield.
Bass started the game and held Plainfield scoreless over the first three innings before giving way to Nicholson. Plainfield was able to get on the board with three-run innings in the fourth and fifth frames to overcome Clay County, which scored one run in the second and two in the third inning.
Knust and Harden each had two hits with both of Harden's being two-base hits. Slack had an RBI for Clay County and Nicholson drove in a run in the loss.
Offensive leaders for Clay County during tourney play included Colson and Dickison, who each hit .500. Colson had six hits in 12 at-bats while Dickison was 7-for-14. Harden led the team with 15 total bases, going 7-for-17 at the plate with an .882 slugging percentage. Harden had two doubles, two home runs and drove in a team-high eight runs that tied him with Slack.
Thomas hit at a .417 clip in 12 at-bats, gathering five hits and Slack was a .353 hitter over 17 at-bats with six hits, including two doubles and a home run. Bass was a .333 hitter with six hits in 18 at-bats.
As a team, Clay County hit .340 with 48 hits in 141 at-bats.
2B -- CC (Slack).
2B -- CC (H.Slack, T.Nicholson 2). HR -- CC (J.Harden, H.Slack).
2B -- CC (T.Nicholson). HR -- CC (D.Bass, J.Harden).
2B -- CC (Harden 2).