Falcons rally past Eagles in baseball

WOODSTOCK — Central used strong pitching and timely hits to get a big baseball victory Tuesday.

The Falcons rallied in the third inning to pull out a 4-2 Conference 35 victory over Clarke County. The game was delayed by 40 minutes due to the umpires being late.

“Our pitching was great,” Central coach Sean Semones said. “(Catcher) Mason (Marston) caught a great game. Defensively we had a few shaky defensive plays here and there, but we made the plays when it counted. …That’s a big win tonight.”

The Eagles struck first with a run in the top of the first.

Clarke County’s Kaden Warren tripled off Central starting pitcher Luke Estep and scored on an error to give the Eagles a 1-0 advantage.

The Falcons (6-10, 2-3 Conference 35) came right back in the bottom half of the first.

Central’s Jared Rice drew a walk from Clarke County starting pitcher Kaden Warren. Rice stole second and moved to third on a groundout by Estep.

An RBI single by Gus Wightman tied the game at 1-1.

Andrew Moomaw and Josue Rosario drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Clarke County’s Colby Childs then relieved Warren on the mound and struck out Sam Shifflett to end the inning.

Clarke County (7-9, 2-5 Conference 35) took the lead again in the top of the third. Chris Davis drew a walk and Warren followed with a single.

Davis then scored on a fielder’s choice on a grounder hit by Colt Webb.

The Falcons responded with three runs in the bottom of the third.

John French singled to start the inning. Estep’s RBI triple to right field tied the game, 2-2. A groundout RBI by Wightman gave the Falcons a 3-2 lead.

With two outs, Rosario and Shifflett had back-to-back singles. Jonathan Baker’s RBI single extended the lead to 4-2.

“Tonight we looked great at the plate,” Semones said. “We made adjustments at the plate. We’ve been working hard on their swings, my brother Eric and I, have really been putting some good swings into these kids. And working hard on their mechanics and their approaches and it showed tonight. And they drove the ball hard.”

The Eagles had opportunities to score in the later innings.

Warren drew a leadoff walk to start the top of the fifth. Baker relieved Estep on the mound. With one out, Warren tried to advance to third on a fly out by Samuel Fairman. Warren was originally called safe at third. However, after an appeal from Central to the second base umpire and a throw over to second base Fairman was ruled to have tagged up to early.

I knew it was worth a shot,” Semones said. “I knew I saw his foot come off there about halfway. …That was a real momentum killer for the other team. That was a big momentum swing.”

In the top of the sixth, Clarke County’s Duff Bloomingdale reached on an error. Baker was able to strike out the next two batters. However, a walk to Michael Zuleger and a single by Peyton Rutherford loaded the bases.

Baker induced a pop out by Chris Davis to end the inning.

“Baker came in and threw three scoreless innings, which was great,” Semones said. “He’s a great relief pitcher. He throws pretty hard. He looked great out there.”

Clarke County was led at the plate by Warren with a triple and a single.

The Falcons were led at the plate by French with two hits.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com