CPL: Copperheads beat HiToms for seventh time
Making strides in recent days, the HiToms took a giant step back Wednesday against a Coastal Plain League team that’s had their number in 2013.
Behind eight strong innings of work from starting pitcher John Tuttle, Asheboro beat the HiToms for the seventh time in nine tries, coasting 7-0. Thomasville had only three hits for the evening compared to eight for the Copperheads. The HiToms also committed five errors.
“Not a good night at all,” said Zach Brown, manager of the HiToms. “I was disappointed in the at-bats, disappointed in the defensive play and a lot of other things. Especially when you come out the past four nights and play well.”
Wednesday was not the first time the HiToms had committed five errors in a game this season, and the way things are trending it may not be the last. It was an error in the third inning that got the ball rolling on a relaxing evening for the Snakes.
Connor Owings doubled off the center-field wall to start the inning. After a popup, Kenneth Jackson rolled a grounder to shortstop Sam Foy. The Davidson product fired a strike to third, but Jared Foster did not catch it cleanly. Owings scooted home and Jackson went to second. The error would wind up getting the Copperheads another run. K.J. McAllister singled to center to score Jackson for a 2-0 lead. McAllister would try to score on a Dalton Rouleau single, but was gunned down at home when Andrew Cox fired to the plate where Max Gagnon applied a sweeping tag.
Neither team mounted much of a scoring threat over the next few innings until public enemy No. 1 for the HiToms — Luke Tendler — teed off on a Josh Frederick pitch. His two-run homer in the sixth gave the Copperheads a 4-0 edge. It was Tendler’s seventh homer of the season — five of them coming against the Tommies.
Tuttle continued to deal strikes and the HiToms could do nothing with them. Sam Foy had two of the three hits Tuttle allowed. The righty struck out 10 while moving his record to 7-0. His ERA is nearly perfect at 0.39.
“Their guy pitched well, we had bad at-bats and that is what you end up with,” said Brown. “As a hitter you have to find a way. Even when you are facing a guy that is not going to give you something to drive, you gotta find a way and have good AB’s. That means putting the ball in play, making things happen or putting a bunt down. Our guys have not quite picked up on that. They think when they go up there they are going to hit a 12-run bomb and that is not even possible. Tuttle shut us down tonight and he owned us. That is just how it is.”
Rouleau and Tendler had two hits apiece for the 24-11 Copperheads. Thomasville dipped to 17-21.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.