No bats for Central
It was quick game that lasted right around 90 minutes as R-S Central (14-7, 8-5 SMAC) and Burns (14-5, 8-2 SMAC) each managed just three hits apiece Wednesday night in Rutherfordton. Unfortunately for Central, Burns' three hits accounted for two runs while they were held scoreless in a 2-0 loss to the Bulldogs.
Burns pitcher Ethan Carpenter had his way with the Hilltoppers lineup striking out 10 batter in a complete-game effort.
Central starter Conner Dailey nearly matched Carpenter going a full seven innings as well but the Burns hits did something Central just didn't, score runs.
"Conner [Dailey] pitched well tonight and we played good defense but we just didn't hit," Central head coach Chadd Fowler said. "Hopefully were due come playoff time."
Central put runners on the corners in the third inning but a nifty first-and-third play by the Bulldogs erased Dailey at the plate erasing the threat and keeping the game scoreless.
Burns didn't threaten until the fifth against Dailey who allowed solid contact the entire but always had his defense making the plays behind him.
In the fifth however, a leadoff single and a costly error allowed Burns' Phillip Black to rope a double into right-center field just out of the reach of a diving Brent McCollum. Two Bulldogs raced home to take a 2-0 lead.
"Dailey pitched a heck of a game and probably deserved a better fate but one hit was the difference in the game tonight."
Central managed just one baserunner the final three innings as the Bulldogs closed out the win.
"We just need to keep competing at the plate and keep having quality at-bats," Fowler said.
Tyler Morgan, Lance Green and Dailey each had a hit for the Hilltoppers.
Central returns to action Monday night as they travel to Shelby for a non-conference battle. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.