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Flyers miss little things in tough loss to Clay

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

Little things mean a lot. And those little things added up to some big problems for the St. Joseph Flyers.
The lack of key hitting along with two errors were instrumental in the Flyers 4-2 Southern Ohio Conference loss to the Portsmouth Clay Panthers on Thursday.
“It was a really good game. Both pitchers threw well. If we get a key hit and don’t miss a couple of fly balls, we win this game,” said Flyers’ coach Greg Bryant.
“But, if, if, if. You can say that about a lot of things. We just have to step up and make plays in key situations.”
The Flyers’ Jackson Rowe went the distance and pitched a five-hitter. He struck out seven, did not issue a walk and only two of the runs were earned.
The Panthers’ Clay Cottle also went the distance and pitched a five-hitter. Cottle fanned 12, walked four and both runs were earned.
Clay snapped a scoreless tie with a run in the top of the third.
With two outs, Shaden Malone singled, stole second and scored when Cottle reached on an error.
St. Joseph (15-6, 8-4) loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning cut couldn’t’ score.
“We had a few chances, but we could never get that key hit,” said Bryant.
The Flyers came back to take a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning with two outs.
Jimmy Mahlmeister singled and went to second on a passed ball. Elijah Rowe then helped his brother with an RBI single.
Rowe stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Jackson Rowe walked to put runners on the corners and Blake Stuntebeck singled in the second run.
The Panthers managed three runs in the top of the sixth.
But Clay answered with three runs — two unearned — in the sixth to take the lead for good.
Malone and Cottle singled and Jaden Jessee hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Evan Woods put down a squeeze bunt as Cottle scored. Woods was later caught stealing.
Carson Porginski hit a fly ball that was dropped for an error and Mitchell King singled home Porginski for an insurance runs.
The Flyers host Portsmouth Notre Dame at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the sectional tournament.
Ports. Clay 001 003 0 = 4 5 0
St. Joseph 000 020 0 = 2 5 2
Clay Cottle and Mitchell King. Jackson Rowe and Michael Mahlmeister. W-Cottle (ER-2, K-12, BB-4). L-Rowe (ER-2, K-7, BB-0). Hitting-PC: Shaden Malone 2-4, Clay Cottle 1-3, Jaden Jessee RBI, Evan Woods 1-3, Mitchell King 1-3 RBI; SJ: Jimmy Mahlmeister 2-4, Elijah Rowe 1-4 RBI, Blake Stuntebeck 1-3 RBI, Michael Mahlmeister 1-3.