Myrtle clinches playoff spot

Donica Phifer | Buy at photos.djournal.com Myrtle runner Anthony Lipsey is called safe in front of Ingomar catcher Cade Hall.

Donica Phifer | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Myrtle runner Anthony Lipsey is called safe in front of Ingomar catcher Cade Hall.

By Donica Phifer

New Albany Gazette

In a battle for the top spot in 2-1A play, the Myrtle Hawks finished on top.

Ingomar stopped the Hawks perfect run in March but Myrtle bounced back Friday, defeating its county and division rival 10-3 to get back in the driver’s seat for the division title.

“It was a sloppy game,” Myrtle coach Robert Gordon said, “much like the first game, and that was a pitcher’s duel. We made mistakes, but I think we took advantage of their mistakes maybe a bit more.”

The mistakes were eight combined errors between the Falcons and the Hawks across seven innings.

Despite that, both teams pulled in strong defensive plays. Myrtle turned three double plays, including a throw from shortstop Taylor Hogue to first baseman Ben Ausburn to eliminate two in the seventh inning.

The Hawks plated four runs in the third to take the lead, with Anthony Lipsey and Neal Scott each driving in two runs.

Myrtle added another four runs in the fourth to take an 8-0 lead.

Ingomar cut the lead to 8-3 in the fifth, aided by a pair of singles from Matt Browning and Cade Hall.

“I thought for the game that we squared it up pretty good, I thought that we hit the baseball decently,” Ingomar coach Andy Wilbanks said, “It was a better game than 10-3, but the errors cost us and we’ve got to find a way to be consistent.”

That lack of consistency cost the Falcons the top spot in the division after a 7-5 loss to Hickory Flat on Thursday.

“Baseball is a game of consistency and right now we don’t have that,” Wilbanks said, “and when you don’t have it, it can be an ugly game.”

Myrtle added on three more runs in the sixth inning, aided by a double from Zack Perkins.

Both Myrtle and Ingomar have clinched playoff runs entering into the final week of the season. Ingomar sits in the number two spot in division 2-1A, while fellow Union County squad West Union wrapped up the three spot with a 10-0 win over the Hickory Flat Rebels.