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Kelly's defense fails in 10-5 loss to Tigers
BENTON, Mo. -- The Kelly Hawks knew going in that Clearwater, undefeated and ranked fifth in Class 2, would be a formidable opponent even without their help.
But the Hawks were their own worst enemy, yielding eight unearned runs in a 10-5 loss to the Tigers on Friday.
"Today, we beat ourselves as much as they beat us," Kelly coach Cory Johnson said. "There were at least seven errors and maybe two or three more that were questionable."
Kelly (4-4) got off to a rocky start with three first-inning errors that helped Clearwater take a 3-0 lead. Three of the first four Tigers batters reached on infield fielding miscues.
Kelly starter Caleb Daughhetee, victim of the porous defensive support, suffered the loss. He was charged with eight runs in five innings of work, but only two of those runs were earned. Daughhetee recorded four strikeouts and two walks.
"I could take those errors if it was freshmen and sophomores making them, but we've got seniors making these mistakes," Johnson said. "I don't know if it's lack of concentration, their focus isn't there … but we've got to have those guys stepping up and making plays."
Kelly managed to burst out of the early hole with five runs in the second inning for a 5-3 lead.
With two outs and leadoff hitter Jon Simpher aboard via a walk, Kelly's Russell Carroll kept the inning alive with a bloop single over second base. Dustin LeGrand followed with a RBI single to score Simpher. Stephen Strobel walked, and Blake Lee lined a shot into the right-field corner to drive in three runs. Lee later scampered home on Jordan Felter's mishandled groundball.
The offensive lift, however, didn't translate to the defensive side. Another critical error with two outs in the third inning led to two more unearned runs for Clearwater that tied the score.
Clearwater (8-0) tacked on three runs in the fourth.