Hornets’ bats quiet in area loss to Holtville

Published 9:03 pm Friday, March 7, 2014

PLANTERSVILLE — A lot of times a baseball game will be decided by a couple of bounces. Friday night, Dallas County found that out the hard way in a 2-0 area loss to Holtville.

According to Hornets head coach Cody Massey, Dallas County (2-5) had its best performance at the plate thus far this season, but couldn’t get the big hits to put runs on the scoreboard.

“We put the ball in play more than we have all year and to be honest that is probably the best pitcher we’ve seen and one of the best we are going to see all year,” Massey said. “We had five strikeouts in seven innings which is not bad but when we got runners on, we played small ball and moved them over but we just could not get the timely hit.”

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For most of the night, Holtville starting pitcher Hunter Davis had his way with the Hornets.

Once the Bulldogs’ bats gave Davis a lead to work with, he seemed determined not to give it up.

In the second inning, Holtville’s Josh Thompson scored Brenden Knight on a throwing error on a hard hit ball to third base. “They get a ground ball to third where [the third basemen] has to charge hard on it and I can’t fault him on his decision … but he throws and the runner is in the way and it bounces off of him,” Massey said. “That’s the way it goes.”

Following the error, Dallas County starting pitcher David Robertson walked Holtville’s Dalton Speigner to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.

“We’re basically one play in the second inning away from being in the eighth inning in extra innings right now,” Massey said.

Each team’s offense was silent from that point on.

Robertson settled down, pitching into the fourth inning before an elbow injury forced him out of the game.

Hornets’ relief pitcher Gabe Denson didn’t allow a run in his four innings of work, but the Hornets’ bats couldn’t get going.

“We probably had as many hits as they did but theirs were more timely hits — putting runners in position and making us make the play,” Massey said.

Dallas County had numerous chances to tie the game or take the lead. Prince Tolbert singled to lead off the third inning and Hunter Hale bunted him to third base, but Davis shut the Hornets’ offense down. Robertson struck out and Justin Chandler grounded out, ending the scoring threat.

William Lofton doubled down the right field line for the Hornets in the fifth inning, but again Davis shut the door, holding the Hornets without points.

The Hornets play at Holtville in a doubleheader Saturday, with the first game scheduled to start at 1 p.m.