PORTSMOUTH — When the Clay Panthers play as they did on Monday, their case for a repeat Southern Ohio Conference Division I championship seems all the more likely.
Scoring 10 runs and holding host Notre Dame to just one hit, the Panthers (7-2, 4-0 SOC I) continued their unbeaten start in SOC I play and extended their current win-streak to four games.
Clay scored their 10th and final run in the top of fifth after leading 9-0 through two-and-a-half frames, winning 10-0 over the Titans on the backs of Clay Cottle’s one-hit shutout.
“Our boys really came to play tonight,” Clay coach Marc Cottle said, after the game. “Clay pounded the strike zone, we were error free on defense, and our offense stayed hot. We are really coming together as a team and are playing very competitive baseball right now.”
The Panthers took an early 1-0 lead in the 1st when Carson Porginski had an RBI single that scored Cottle from third base.
RBI walks by Gregory Gleason and Noah Wright with the bases loaded scored two more Clay runs to give them a 3-0 lead through one.
Shaden Malone scored Clay’s first run in the 2nd inning on one of ND’s three errors. Evan Woods then singled to make it 5-0 Panthers as he drove in Cottle for an RBI.
Woods earned another RBI when he walked with two outs in the third. Clay scored four total runs in the third with two outs, including another RBI single by Porginski and a two RBI single by Mitchell King.
Jessee’s RBI single in the fifth made it 10-0 Clay and allowed the Panthers to win in five innings via the OHSAA’s run-rule.
Cottle struck out ten Titan hitters and faced one more than the minimum on 64 pitches.
A triple by ND senior Caleb Nichols in the bottom of the fourth was the lone hit the Titans recorded in the decision.
Nichols was credited with the loss, pitching two and two-thirds innings and allowing three earned runs, giving up four hits and seven walks.
Clay: 3 2 4 0 1 — 10 8 0
Notre Dame: 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 1 3
W: Cottle (C), L: Nichols (ND)
Clay junior Carson Porginski (right) discusses the Panthers’ strategy with third base coach Kylon Crabtree (left) after Porginski got the Panthers’ scoring going with an RBI single in the first inning of their road win over Notre Dame.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved