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Sports

March 16, 2014

Indian bats heating up

COMANCHE — After back-to-back run rule losses to start the season, Comanche made No. 14 Davis go the distance in a 12-6 loss.

The Indians (0-3) started off the game promising, grabbing their first lead over an opponent this year. Hunter Rice seized that opportunity in the second. With the game tied 2-2, he singled in Tyler Ward.

“The hitting’s coming,” Comanche coach Brent Crow said. “We’ll get better as we go. We’re getting better every game.”

The lead didn’t last long. Errors and missed opportunities for Comanche helped Davis come back with a four-run answer of its own. With the scoreline at 7-3, both pitchers were able to turn off the faucet in the fourth and fifth innings.

Davis held an 8-3 lead, but in the first sixth inning of the season for the Indians, starting pitcher Cody Crow finally unraveled. He let up three more runs, before being replaced by Tanner Ressell. He surrendered one more run before getting out of the inning on a leaping-catch made by centerfielder Justin Hall.

“He did a good job,” Crow said. “Tanner threw strikes, and we played good defense behind him.”

Comanche needed two runs to push Davis into the seventh. That dream took a blow when Ward struck out to start the sixth, but Braeden Ledford and Dalton Wood came up with big hits to get the game to 12-5. With another inning of baseball already secure, Crow blasted a double to the gap in left center to bring home Wood and wrap up the scoring.

“It was kind of a moment of redemption for the past few games as I’ve been struggling at the plate,” Crow said.

Comanche’s coach was happy with the offensive output. The Indians had only scored one run coming into the game, and, in the season opening 9-0 loss to Marlow, only mustered one hit.

“The main difference tonight was we started to hit the ball a little bit,” Crow said. “We got a few base hits. We ran the bases well when we got a few baserunners.”

He added that, on the defensive end, the team needed to be less complacent. In the four-run third inning for Davis, Comanche dropped a few balls. Instead of there being a close play or an out, those dropped balls negated those opportunities.

“We’re going to need to become more aggressive,” Crow said. “Overall, for the experience we have got, the practice that we’ve had, we’re coming along pretty well.”

The younger Crow thinks the team will get better with time as well. He said the offensive output was indicative of what the team can do if it gets a little more practice time.

“When we started the first two games, we hadn’t had a whole lot of practice,” Crow said. “Now that we’ve gotten some more experience, and we’ve seen some more pitchers, we’ve gotten more relaxed.”

The team will get plenty of practice time before its next game as it will be spring break next week. Crow expects a large portion of the key contributors to be there in preparation for the March 24 date with Pauls Valley.

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