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Comanche coach Brent Crow thought his team played it’s best game of the year in the 7-4 loss to Pauls Valley, mostly because of the Indians’ fielding.
The Indians’ (0-4) defense started off shaky, letting up two unearned runs to the Panthers (5-5) in the 2nd. First, Tyler Butts hit a line drive to left field that got by Brayden Bailey to score Caleb Jones. Then, Jones scored on a booted grounder to Dalton Wood.
Still, Indian pitcher Patrick Seward closed out of the inning, giving up two. He ended up pitching a complete game for the Indians, giving up seven runs, the same amount that he gave up in the first inning of his first start. Only four of them were earned.
“Patrick did a good job keeping them off balance and throwing strikes,” Crow said. “By him being able to complete the whole game, it saves a little bit of pitching for tomorrow.”
Comanche will play Frederick Tuesday and Cody Crow, Brent’s son will get the start. He will hope the defense plays as well as for him, as it did in the later innings for Seward.
After committing that error in the second, Wood stepped up his play. He made two outs moving to his right from his shortstop position and seemed to provide energy for the team out on the field. He also hit a two-run RBI double off the left centerfield fence in the second to give the Indians a 4-2 lead. He credited the extra time spent at practice during spring break week as the reason for his and the team’s success.
“We came into the season with only two practices before our first game,” Wood said. “We got a chance to practice and finally get our mojo.”
The Indians found a lot of ways to get on base. They finished the game with four runs on five hits, but also had four hit batters and a walk. Wood, Braden Ledford and Hunter Rice all reached base multiple times, which was a good sign as Crow went into the game knowing Pauls Valley was throwing their ace, Butts.
“We put the ball in play on probably the best pitcher we’ve faced yet,” Crow said. “I think we’re getting more confident at the plate all the time. Being able to play with this team and that pitcher, is going to give us some confidence.”
Pauls Valley has had a habit of playing teams close all year. All five of their losses have come to ranked teams, and four of those five have been decided by less than three runs or extra innings.
“This is a good ball team,” Crow said. “They’ve been playing some good teams, playing with some good teams and beating some good teams... I think it’s our best ball game. We lost, but I think it’s still the best game we have played.”
Still looking for its first win, Comanche will have a good shot at picking it up Tuesday. While Frederick (4-3) has a winning record, it hasn’t won a game against a Class 3A school or larger. Unfortunately for the Indians, the Bombers will come in hot, winning their last two versus Class 2A schools Community Christian and Union City.
If Comanche can’t beat the Bombers, it will have to wait until the Red Dirt Classic at Central High for another chance at its first victory.