One of the best hitting games of the season to date was not enough for Cannon County baseball to get into the win column against visiting Watertown Tuesday (April 3).
The Lions (2-11) pounded out a season-high 10 hits, including two for extra bases, but Watertown broke a 5-5 tie with four runs in the bottom of the seventh and held on for a 9-5 win in front of a boisterous crowd at the Cannon County Baseball Complex.
“We continue to hit the ball better and that’s a positive sign, especially to the opposite field,” Cannon County coach Tony Stinnett said. “In two games since Spring Break we have had season highs for hits in consecutive games so I believe we are making progress. It’s just a matter of us putting it all together.
“On behalf of our team, I really want to thank the fans for their outstanding support in our home games to this point. There has been a great atmosphere at the park and the fans down the left field line have added something different to the park so it’s been exciting. We just need to give those fans more to cheer about in future games.”
Cody Phillips led Cannon County with a 2-for-2 performance that included his first home run of the season and two runs scored. Brian Duggin continued his torrid pace with a 2-for-4 effort, including a RBI, and Nick Vasser was 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and a run scored. Austin Brown, Dalton Bell, Brent Duggin and Chase Gunter also collected base knocks.
“We are definitely hitting the ball better as a team,” said Brian Duggin, who has eight hits in his last 10 at-bats. “It’s starting to come together and we believe we can put it all together and make a good run in the second half of the season.”
The Lions jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Brown started the bottom of the first with a single and scored on Brian Duggin’s one-out single. Brent Duggin followed with a base hit to supply the second run and give the Lions an early 2-0 lead.
Watertown came back with four in the third inning to go up 4-2 but Phillips’ solo shot in the third, the 11th of his career, narrowed the gap to 4-3. Watertown came back with one run in the fourth.
“Watertown has a good hitting team but we also didn’t execute some pitches in key spots,” Stinnett said. “I was pleased with how our guys kept fighting back and gave themselves a chance to win.”
The Lions did battle back, scoring two in the fourth to tie the game 5-5. The big blow in the inning was Vasser’s double and back-to-back hits from Bell and Phillips. Watertown finally broke through for four in the seventh to take the non-conference win.
The Lions will participate in the Highland Rim Easter Invitational at White County this weekend. Cannon County plays York (9 a.m.) and Grundy County (1:30 p.m.) Friday. The Lions face Meadeville (Pa., 9 a.m.) and White County (11:15 a.m.) Saturday.