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Missed chances costly for Vikes in sectional

By RICKEY CLARDY ~ Sports Writer
Posted 5/21/22

WATERTOWN — The Community Vikings took the lead in their Class AA sectional baseball game against the Watertown Purple Tigers on Friday, but the Vikings squandered chances to put additional …

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Missed chances costly for Vikes in sectional

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WATERTOWN — The Community Vikings took the lead in their Class AA sectional baseball game against the Watertown Purple Tigers on Friday, but the Vikings squandered chances to put additional runs on the board and the momentum swung in favor of the Purple Tigers as the Community season ended with a 6-2 loss.
Community (18-17) outhit the Purple Tigers nine to five, but the Vikings left eight runners on base while Watertown left three.
The Vikings averted danger in the bottom of the first as the Purple Tigers put a runner on second with two outs. 
On a wild pitch, the Watertown base runner reached third and attempted to score, but Community was able to get the runner in a rundown and record the out to keep the game scoreless.
Community took the lead in the top of the third.  Sam Holley led off with a double and advanced to third on a single by Maki Fleming. 
With two outs, the Purple Tigers intentionally walked Dylan Norris to load the bases. 
The strategy backfired as Mason Russell singled to bring home two runs and give the Vikings a 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Norris kept Watertown in check through the first three innings. 
Norris struck out six, including striking out the side in the third as the Vikings maintained their lead.
The Vikings had a golden opportunity to increase their advantage in the fourth. 
A double by Blaine Paschal followed by a push bunt single by Stratton Lovvorn and an infield single by Holley loaded the bases with none out.  But a 6-2-3 double play and a strikeout kept Community off the scoreboard.
With a renewed vigor, the Purple Tigers went to work in the bottom of the fourth.  Two Watertown singles put runners on the corners with none out before the Vikings recorded the first out on a fly to left.  A walk loaded the bases before another walk forced in the first run to cut the Viking lead to 2-1. 
The Purple Tigers went ahead without another hit as a passed ball and wild pitch scored runs to give Watertown a 3-2 lead.
Down by one run, the Vikings rallied in the sixth as singles by Paschal and Holley put the tying and go-ahead runners on base with one out. 
But a double play ended the threat as Watertown maintained its lead.
The Purple Tigers added three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth on three hits, a walk, and a Viking error as Watertown increased its lead to 6-2.
Corey Paterick singled in the seventh but the Vikings could not mount a serious threat as the Purple Tigers advanced to the Class AA state tournament.   
Holley had three hits and Paschal had two safeties to lead the Viking 9-hit attack. 
The sectional game was the last contest in a Viking uniform for seniors Holley, Norris, Lovvorn, and Gage Underwood.
          
Community  002 00 00 —  2  9  2
Watertown  000 303 x —  6  5  1
 
Community: Sam Holley 3-for-3, Blaine Paschal 2-for-3, Mason Russell 1-for-3, Stratton Lovvorn 1-for-3, Maki Fleming 1-for-4, Corey Paterick 1-for-4.
2B: Holley, Paschal.
WP: Alec Whitlock.
LP: Dylan Norris.

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