Crothersville baseball happy to have freshmen back in lineup


The Tigers have been shorthanded for quite some time now due to COVID-19, often playing with just nine players. But on Monday against Columbus Christian, Crothersville added some depth back in the dugout.

The team started out the game well, too. Pitcher Lucas Hilton came out and allowed no runs in the top of the first inning. Columbus Christian got one runner on base, but Hilton and the defense behind him made sure that would be the only one in the first inning.

“The team came out well,” head coach Eric Hilton said. “It was great to have our freshman back. Lucas did an awesome job in the first inning, having a no-run inning. We had some great pop fly catches in the outfield by Elijah Plasse and Bowman.”

The Tigers followed up the strong defensive first inning with a strong offensive first inning. Crothersville got the bases loaded with nobody out, which was a good feeling for the team after getting no-hit over the weekend.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, they couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity at hand. Two strikeouts and a groundout later and Columbus Christian got out of the inning with no harm done.

“We started out well with our bats,” Hilton said. “Had the bases loaded and we left them open unfortunately. Leaving the bases loaded kind of deflated our team. The kids thought we were gonna score.”

From there, things started to get out of hand. Lucas Hilton had a rough start to the second inning, and much to Eric Hilton’s chagrin, he decided to pull Lucas.

The bats stayed hot for Columbus Christian from the second inning onward as it had 29 hits to account for its 39 runs, defeating Crothersville 39-1.

The Tigers’ lone run came in the bottom of the fourth inning when Devon Morgan hit a single to bring in Matthew Clouse.

Morgan was one of four Tigers to get a hit on the day, joining Hilton, Clouse and Bowman. Plasse, Logen O’Sullivan and Darren Maxie all got on base via walks on Monday.

Monday also marked senior night for the Tigers, who originally weren’t going to have any seniors until the school couldn’t field a softball team, so seniors Olivia Robinson and Kate Frazier joined the baseball team.

They were both honored before the game, and Crothersville set up red solo cups in the fence to spell out “senior” with the #5 and #9 on each side of the word to represent their numbers.

“It was great to have our senior night,” Hilton said. “Very excited to have the two girls on the baseball team. They’ve stepped up and done well. Exciting to have seniors back on the team.”

It’s still a very young Crothersville team though, and getting the freshmen back Monday was a big benefit to finally make some substitutions and lineup changes when needed.

“It was great to have depth,” Hilton said. “We got the freshman off quarantine. All freshman got action who were eligible to play.”

Going forward, Crothersville will next play on Saturday at Crawford County at noon. The Tigers’ game slated for today against South Ripley has been canceled.

When things aren’t going the team’s way in games like Monday, Hilton tries to stress that it’s all about the next inning, which keeps the Tigers motivated to play.

“What we try to do is the next inning. We try to win the next inning,” Hilton said. “Anytime we win or tie an inning, we celebrate it. We’re just trying to build off that motivation.”

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