For The Tribune
The hopes of the Brownstown Central baseball team to move a step closer to the Mid-Southern Conference title came up short when Silver Creek left the Braves’ field with a 6-1 win Monday evening.
The loss snapped the Braves’ 15-game win streak and left them 6-1 in the MSC, while the Dragons won the title with a record of 9-0.
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Silver Creek, ranked No. 2 in the Class 3A poll this week, is 24-2 for the season.
The first inning turned into a battle of the long ball.
The Dragons’ leadoff batter, Cody Razer, hit the second pitch he saw over the fence in straight-away center field for a quick 1-0 score.
With two out in the bottom of the first, the Braves’ Zach McCory found one of Logan Murphy’s pitches to his liking and also drove the ball over the fence in center field for his first home run of the season.
While the Dragons collected seven more hits and scored runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings, the Braves’ bats went silent, as they did not collect another hit while striking out six times and received three walks.
“He was good,” Braves coach John Lawson said of Murphy. “We’ve seen him in the past, and he throws strikes, and he mixes it up really well. He throws two breaking pitches for strikes. He’s got a curveball and a cutter.
“It’s hard to do anything if you get one hit. You’ve got to be perfect and hope the hit is a home run, and that’s what ours was. He got ahead in the count, and we struggled with that a little bit early.”
With two out in the third, the Braves’ Carson Lambring and Ty Maxie drew walks, but the next batter flew out to left field.
The only other base runners the Braves had was a walk to Sy Zickler in the fourth, and McCory was hit by a pitch in the sixth.
Lawson said the Braves’ defense had been outstanding going into this game, making only 17 errors in the first 18 games, but they committed five errors against the Dragons.
Tyler Kapust reached base on errors in the third and fifth innings and scored both times.
Bryce McCray added a solo home run in the third, and the Dragons bunched three hits and a walk to score two runs in the sixth.
“Our errors helped them a little bit,” Lawson said. “Those upped our pitch count and kind of knocks your defense back a little.”
McCray went 3-for-3 with a single, double and home run, and he was hit by a pitch and had two RBI.
“They hit the ball,” Lawson said as the Dragons finished with eight hits and did not go out in order until the seventh inning. “They are a good team, and I tip my hat to them, but I think we’re a good team as well. We were a little bit flat offensively and … were a little flat defensively, too.”
The Braves (16-3) will make up MSC games Thursday at Austin and Friday at home against Charlestown.
“We’ve got some goals still remaining,” Lawson said. “The (sectional) tournament is always a motivator. We’ve got two conference games left and we’re playing to finish second. We’re at 16 wins and one of our goals is to try to get to 20.
“It’s a little tougher road to go now because you’re running out of time and running out of games because we lost some to the weather. It’s still an attainable goal to get to 20. We’re just going to throw this one away and come back (today) and get ready for what we’ve got left.”