Heights, Carroll split baseball doubleheader
Heights and Carroll had opposing viewpoints of splitting their baseball doubleheader Thursday night at Westurban.
For Carroll, which won Game 1, 5-4 with a strong performance by starting pitcher Jordan Miller, the split was a major disappointment.
“I’ve always said a split’s like kissing your sister,” said Carroll coach Charlie Ebright, whose team is ranked No. 1 in Class 5A by the coaches association.
But for Heights, being able to salvage a split — winning Game 2, 2-1 — against the team that is likely the Falcons’ biggest competition for a City League title, was crucial.
“If we didn’t get that win, that could have shut everything down for City League,” said Heights pitcher Josh Farrington, who got the win with a complete game. “… Beating one of the top teams we’ll ever play this year is fantastic.”
Heights coach Jeff Topping, whose team is ranked eighth by the coaches association, added: “That was regional baseball right there. First night out of the chute, I can’t be more proud of our guys.”
Miller threw six innings to get the win, which was important for him considering he had opened the 2013 with a loss to Heights.
He didn’t give up a run until the fourth inning and relied heavily on his offspeed pitch.
“It was big for me,” he said. “Struggling against them (last season), I really wanted to come out and show them I could take them.”
Ebright praised Milller profusely.
“He’s just a bulldog. He knows how to pitch. Bases loaded, no outs (in the fifth), he works out of that. We know Jordan’s going to keep us in every ballgame he’s in,” Ebright said.
Carroll also had a strong performance from sophomore pitcher McCae Allen, who threw six innings in Game 2.
Heights took the 2-0 lead when, with two outs in the fourth, left fielder Creighton Sanders hit a two-run double to left field.
“We needed a big hit with guys at second and third, and Creighton Sanders came up and gave us a big hit,” Topping said. “When you have two good teams like that playing, it’s a very, very thin line between winning and losing.”
Carroll got a run back in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Mack Gowing, after Mark Quaney turned a single into a triple on a Heights error.
The play of the night came with one out in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded for Carroll. Jordan Miller hit liner to left, but Sanders fielded the ball well and threw it home to get the runner.
“(Catcher) James Smith, he did everything he was supposed to, and Creighton made a great throw,” Topping said. “… He one-hopped it to the catcher and the catcher made a great play. That basically saved the game for us.”
Carroll 5, Heights 4
|Heights||000||102||1||—||4 9 1|
|Carroll||001||202||x||—||5 6 1|
W — Miller. L — Simpson.
Heights 2, Carroll 1
|Heights||000||200||0||—||2 6 1|
|Carroll||000||100||0||—||1 5 5|
W — Farrington. L — McCae.