Kevin Correll hit a batter.
That, if you’re a McLane baseball fan, is the bad news.
The good news is, that was the only example of Crawford Central getting on base as Correll tossed a 57-pitch, no-hit shutout against CC in the winner’s bracket final of the District 1 Junior League Baseball Tournament Monday.
Final score: McLane 10-0 in four and a half innings.
“That one just got away from me,” Correll said about the pitch that plunked Crawford’s Cottrell McDonald in the third inning.
That pitch ended a streak of eight straight batters retired by Correll. And it was followed by a run of seven batters retired in order.
“I’m just happy with the no-hitter and that we got the win and we’re going to the final,” he said.
Correll struck out five batters. The rest were handled, error-free, by the McLane defense. Although, the outfield had to just stand around for five innings. McLane left fielder Nate Laird caught a fly ball in the third inning. Everything else stayed in the infield.
“(Correll) was working the corners really well and he caught our kids looking. That was the difference,” said Crawford Central manager Ryan Mudger. “He pitched a phenomenal game. And their defense kept us off the bases.”
The same could not be said for Crawford’s defense, which didn’t do their pitchers any favors, committing six errors in the game.
“Every team has a game like this — this one was our game,” said Mudger. “Our kids have to respond. We have full confidence in this team. We know they can play a lot better than we did. It was just a bad day, a bad game. Get over it.”
Offensively, McLane had nine base hits, all singles.
Lead-off batter Kyle Sult had two hits and scored twice. He led of the first with a hit and scored on a single by Peter Solberg. Paul Jones and Cubby Nesselhauf also singled in the first and Evan Dillen brought them both home with knock up the middle, giving McLane a 4-0 lead after one inning played.
Sult later walked and scored on an error in the second. It was now 5-0.
In the fourth inning, McLane tacked on five more runs, evoking the mercy rule. Greg Streiff and Solberg both walked and Ian Mallory brought them home with a single to center field.
Dan Mountain hit into a grounder to score Mallory’s runner (Nesselhauf), making it 8-0.
Correll later reached on an error. Then he scored on a second error that let Dillen come aboard. And Laird brought Dillen home with a single through the right side, making it 10-0.
“When we were in the dugout, I congratulated them for this win as a team,” said Paul Jones, McLane’s coach. “We played a solid defensive game. They were cracking the ball off the bat. And when I would bring in subs, they would do exactly what they had to do. So, they played as a team. And I couldn’t ask for much more.”
McLane will host the Junior League championship game on Friday at 6 p.m. at Edinboro Elementary School. The team will face the winner of Wednesday’s loser’s bracket final between Crawford Central and Lakeland. That game is set for 6 p.m. at the Crawford County Fairgrounds.