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Solid pitching from the start

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Sanders, Perry, Clifton dominate

By Josh Cook

The Collins baseball team got its 2013 season off to a solid start Saturday.

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The Titans topped Seneca, 12-2, then downed Doss, 2-0, on their home field.  

Collins 12, Seneca 1

A 6-run first inning – and a strong start from senior Dan Sanders – propelled the Titans to a 5-inning victory over the Redhawks.

Sanders got Collins, 22-11 last season, off on the right cleat by striking out the side in the top of the first. He received all the run support he would need in the bottom half of the inning.

In 3 1/3 innings Sanders, a right-hander, struck out five, walked three and gave up an earned run – but no hits – to earn the victory.  

“Dan set the tone on the mound early working down in the strike zone with his pitches,” Collins Coach Roy Bailey said. “He had good command of his pitches. It was a great first outing for him.”

In relief senior left-hander David Decker gave up just one hit while striking out three and walking one in 1 2/3 innings.

“David Decker also did a good job in relief coming in and throwing strikes,” Bailey said.  

Senior Logan Bailey and freshman Will McDonald led the Titans’ hit attack. Each had two hits, and Bailey scored thrice and McDonald twice.

Nate Clifton, Buddy Johnson, Zac Wiley and Mason Jeffries each added two RBIs apiece against Seneca (1-1), which was 5-28 last season.  

“Our hitters had consistent at-bats during the first four innings,” Bailey said. “It really helps when we can get an early lead and put pressure on the opponent on the bases.”

 

Collins 2, Doss 0

Austin Perry and Clifton, both seniors, combined to hold the Dragons to only one hit. The Titans had only three hits, but a 2-run fourth inning was all they would need.

 “We didn't hit the ball as well against Doss, but Austin and Nate were able to throw all of their pitches for strikes,” Bailey said. “Anytime we can have a shutout that says a great deal about the pitching and defense.”

In the fourth, Johnson reached on a leadoff walk, before Wiley drove him in with a double to right field. Wiley later scored on a 2-out wild pitch.

Perry, a University of Kentucky-signee, stuck out five and held Doss hitless for the first four innings. He threw nine first-pitch strikes to the 13 batters he faced, and of his 49 throws 35 went for strikes.

Clifton, meanwhile, struck out eight, walked three and gave up that lone hit – a leadoff double to start the seventh – in the final three innings against Doss, which was 8-22 last season.

“We still have a long way to go, but I was happy with the first day,” Bailey said.

Collins, whose game against defending state champ Woodford County was called off Tuesday, is slated to host Owen County at 6 p.m. Thursday and Meade County at 6 p.m. Friday.

 

Collins 12, Seneca 1

Seneca 000 10 – 1 1 3

Collins 612 03 – 12 8 0 

Kent Winslow, Matt Simon (2), Darryl Keels (4). Dan Sanders, David Decker and Chris Crotzer. W – Sanders (1-0). L – Winslow (0-1). 2B – Logan Bailey (CHS), Nate Clifton (CHS), Huddleston (S). Records – Seneca 1-1, Collins 1-0.

 

Collins 2, Doss 0

Doss 000 000 0 – 0 1 0

Collins 000 200 X – 2 3 1

Glenn Giles, Nunn (5) and Blust. Austin Perry, Nate Clifton (5) and Zac Wiley. W – Perry (1-0). L – Giles. SV – Clifton (1). 2B – Wiley (CHS), Nunn (D). Records – Doss 0-1, Collins 2-0.