By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
April 3, 2013 — Conner Staton loves playing against rival West Carter.
Especially when the Raiders win by a mercy rule.
East Carter’s senior pitcher dominated on the mound and smacked his first high school homerun, a three-run shot over the left field fence as the Raiders defeated the Comets 13-3 on a sunny, cool evening in Grayson Thursday.
Staton sprinted to first after what sounded like he hit the cover off the ball before finding out that he hit a roundtripper.
“I knew I hit well but I didn’t know if it was going to be over,” Staton said. “I got to first and saw the left fielder just standing at the fence. It was awesome.”
He pitched all five innings, giving up just two hits, three runs, four walks and striking out five Comets. Assistant Coach Ben Fritz stepping in the mangers box for Head Coach Jeremiah Shearer, who was sick, said he was proud of him and the rest of the club for getting a big district win.
“He wasn’t as sharp as he has been but he came out and did the job on the mound,” Fritz said. “Then he comes out, hits a big homerun … it was a good performance for him as a senior.”
East Carter pounded out 11 hits. Chandler Adams and Cody McDavid each had three hits with McDavid pushing two runners home and Adams with one. Zack Cathey had four RBI. Staton had the one hit that went at least 325 feet from the plate. Cole Boggs also pushed across a run.
“We swung the bats really well,” Fritz said. “We were able to get runners on and we were able to bunt and steal that can create havoc for the opposing infield.”
West Carter (1-3) committed five errors which the Raiders took advantage of including three in the bottom of the third where East increased their lead to 8-1. The Comets cut the lead to five in the fifth on a throwing error and a fielder’s choice but would not get them any closer.
“They definitely played a part,” Comets skipper Brian Brown said. “Anytime you make errors, you’re just giving away (opportunities) … that is something we definitely have to cut down.”
Peyton Brown had the only two hits for West Carter. Tanner Tackett had two RBI for the Comets in the loss.
“We didn’t hit the ball well and give credit to Staton,” Brown said. “You have to put the ball in play and we just didn’t do a good job of that.”
East Carter is participating in a spring break tournament in Florida where they lost to Centerville, Ohio, 13-2 and Letcher County Central, 14-11. West Carter was back in action Monday on the road at Fairview. The Comets won 11-0. They take a week off before playing Raceland in the 16th Region All “A” Classic.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.