Cards fall to defending state champions

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, April 3, 2024

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The George Rogers Clark High School baseball team hosted a team that holds a unique title. 

On Friday night, the Cards (4-6) faced off against Whitley County (7-5), who defeated Shelby County at the end of last season to be named 2023 KHSAA Baseball State Champions. 

Despite a strong effort, the Cards came up short against the defending champions. 

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Against a team who was averaging a nearly 10-run margin of victory during their first seven victories of the season, GRC fell 5-0 to the Colonels. 

“They’re one of the better teams in the state every year, so you better be laced up and ready to go,” said Steve Caldwell, interim manager for the Cards while head coach Eddie Brooks continues recovering from an appendectomy. “We had a couple of balls early in the game [that] we kind of booted around…against a good team like Whitley County, you can’t do that.” 

With Lochlan Hansel, Brady Davis, and Ben McFadden having taken the mound to start the last three games, senior Jordan Soliz entered as starting pitcher for GRC. 

In the top of the first, following a leadoff walk and single, the Colonels got the runs they needed as sophomore Ethan Allen and senior Matthew Wright came around to score. 

With a 2-0 lead, the Colonels turned to seventh-grader Kip Allen on the mound. 

Working fast, Allen limited the Cards to a pair of hits across four innings pitched. 

The Colonels added to their lead in the top of the second on an RBI groundout by Ethan Allen, though the Cards were able to avoid further damage when Soliz threw out a runner at home on an attempted safety squeeze with senior catcher JP Gaines laying down the tag. 

The Colonels’ last two scores came in the fourth and sixth inning, when Ethan Allen scored on an error and sacrifice fly by senior Bryce Anderson. 

While hits were registered by Tielor Howie, Brady Davis, and Abrahm Howard, the Cards were unable to enter the scoreboard. 

Soliz finished the game with three strikeouts over six innings pitched. 

With GRC on spring break, the Cards’s baseball team will be active this week as it looks to break a four-game losing streak. 

A game scheduled against Wolfe County for Tuesday, April 2nd, was cancelled due to severe weather.

On Wednesday, April 3rd, the team will play Hamilton Heights from Indiana at 11:30 a.m. in Winchester.