Boys Varsity Baseball · Athenians find a way to win against Stars

Dover — The little things are still hurting the Western Boone baseball team at this stage of the season.

And against a team like Crawfordsville, those mistakes will come back to bite you. The Stars committed four errors in the field, allowing two crucial unearned insurance runs, and the Athenians were able to come away with a 6-2 road win against the Stars.

“We just have to get rid of that one bad inning,” Western Boone head coach Philip Webb said. “If we get rid of that one bad inning we have had in multiple games, we will be alright. We can’t allow that to snowball into the next inning and that is the biggest thing.”

The unearned runs especially didn’t help because the Western Boone offense struggled to get anything going against Crawfordsville pitcher Cam Saunders.

The bright spot for the Stars was that they scored the first earned run against the Athenian hurler in more than 20 innings. But he struck out 12 and allowed just two hits in six innings.

“He didn’t have his best command today, but he has pretty good stuff,” Crawfordsville head coach John Froedge said. “Our pitching has been our strength this year. Cam gutted it out and got better as the game went on. Coach Webb is doing a great job here and they have a good young team.”

The Athenians took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, when Josh Blackburn singled with two outs, and Austin Warren followed with a 2-run homer to make it 2-0.

But the Stars fought back, scoring a run on an error in the bottom of the first, then tying the game in the second on an RBI-single by Jonathan McAtee.

“Our kids are going to battle,” Webb said. “No matter what the score is, our kids will go until the last out is made. I don’t expect anything less from them, and I know they can get the job done, they just have to start believing in themselves.”

The Athenians retook the lead on a Warren sacrifice fly in the third and then made it 4-2 in the fifth with a Blackburn RBI-single.

They capitalized on three-straight Western Boone errors to score in the top of the sixth, then added another in the seventh on an error, passed ball, steal and ground out.

“We had a lengthy talk yesterday about the nature of baseball and how you seldom have your ‘A’ game, and how do you play within that,” Froedge said. “You have to play your game and most of the time you have to grind things out. We didn’t start well, we made a lot of miscues, but it is a good sign of a veteran team that we got it together enough and found a way to got a couple more runs.”

Elliot Young and McAtee had the two hits for the Stars, who are now 0-6.

Tyler Brunty pitched well, allowing four runs on eight hits in five innings, but took the loss.

“The more he gets out there, the more confidence he will have,” Webb said. “That is what we will need come May. He is a big part of this team and a big part of this staff, so as long as he keeps getting stronger, he will be great for us.”

Blackburn was 3-for-4 for the Athenians with two runs scored. Warren was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Jake Decker was 2-for-4.

The Athenians will look for the conference sweep today.

“I hope that we approach every game expecting to win,” Froedge said. “I think we will be ready to go tomorrow. In the Sagamore Conference, it is never easy. We play each other so much and we all know each other, so you have to show up and play every game.”