June 4, 2023

Issues not resolved are issues that bite you in the end.

Creek Wood Baseball saw their season end with a 5-1 loss to rival Montgomery Central, and it is because of issues they failed to reconcile.

Their defense was mediocre and they failed to score runs.

Last night talking with Head Coach Chris Clapper he voiced his frustrations.

“Our pitching was good enough to carry us this year” he stated, “We just could not score runs.”

He also did not shy away from discussing the defense behind his pitchers.

Coach Clapper discussed the mental errors and the actual errors that plagued this team.

Despite having eight seniors, six of which regularly occupied starting spots, this team played young.

However, coach is not wrong.

Their pitching was certainly good enough.

The Red Hawks gave up more unearned runs than any team I have seen in recent or not-so-recent memory.

A prime example is their district tournament game with Greenbrier.

Creek Wood started ace pitcher Aaron McCoy on the mound.

Now, did Aaron have his best stuff? No.

However, did the Red Hawks behind him have three errors and give up six runs through two innings? Yes.

Four of those six runs were unearned and McCoy had to leave the game after just two innings because he had thrown over sixty pitches.

Wyatt Lovell relived him and did a fantastic job shutting down the Bobcat offense.

Unfortunately, Creek Wood could not get a base runner past second base all night and never really managed to get more than four or five batters to the plate in an inning.

As you can see it was a rough go of it all year for the Red Hawks.

Mostly due to faults of their own creation.

Obviously, just days after your season ends, talking about next year feels like rubbing a fresh cut.

Coach Clapper and his staff have already started though.

“We talked about it on the bus back” he explained “If we had to field a team right now who would play first base, catch, what would our rotation look like, etc.”

They will have a lot of questions to answer as only their starting second and third baseman return.

One question will not be their rotation though.

Yes, McCoy is gone.

He missed a chunk of this season though and because of that, Alex Pinson and Wyatt Lovell developed into a rather dynamic one-two punch and Maddux Bryant showed he is a more than capable reliever.

That is a very advantageous start on the bump for the Red Hawks.

Not to mention, Pinson is a more than capable shortstop, he just had to sit behind senior team MVP Tate Hinson this year.

Finally, lest we forget, there is a talented crop of upcoming freshmen.

Charlotte Middle School had a very good team this year, came in runner-up in the Area 18 tournament, and made it to a sectional, their singular issue was beating a loaded Burns team.

Cannot hold it against them they are just miles away from a state tournament team.

All in all, Coach Clapper has been at this as a coach for over 27 years, he knows what he is doing.

He will have a young, but very talented team, I trust him to make that work in their favor as next season unfolds.

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