ABINGDON, Va. – The Wise County Central High School baseball team mustered only three hits in a 6-1 loss to Licking Valley of Newark, Ohio, on Wednesday night in the FCA Tournament at Abingdon High School.
"We didn’t compete — that was what our postgame talk was about," said Central coach J.W. Salyers. "At times we competed OK, but overall we didn’t compete. We let them take it to us and we didn’t have a response."
Licking Valley got things started early as leadoff hitter Chase Whisner hit the first pitch he saw over the left field fence to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
"Huge momentum for us right from the start," Panthers coach Adam Arcuri said. "He’s one of our better hitters and we feel like he sets the tone from the get, and he was able to get a pitch that he was able to drive."
After the Panthers added another run in the second inning, Central senior Landon Elkins beat out the throw for an infield single to give the Warriors’ their first hit of the night with two outs in the third. Elkins stole second base and then scored on a double to right field by Daniel Lawson to make it a 2-1 game.
The Panthers attempted a squeeze play in the bottom of the third inning, but a throwing error by the Warriors led to three runners crossing the plate. A wild pitch would score another run to make it a 6-1 lead for Licking Valley. Neither team would score again, as the Panthers struck out the side in the top of the seventh inning to secure the win.
"We were able to get some bunts down and we were able to execute, and that’s one of the things that we pride ourselves on is being able to play small ball," Arcuri said.
Bodee Creech finished 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and a run scored for the Panthers. Whisner’s home run was his only hit of the night, while Logan Baker’s double was the Panthers only other extra base hit.
Lawson led the Warriors in the loss, finishing 2-for-2 with a double and one RBI. Elkins’ single was the only other hit Central recorded in the loss.
The Warriors will return to action today when they face Lee High at 4 p.m. at Abingdon High School.
Salyers said that he challenged his team after the game to build off the loss going into Thursday’s game.
"Like I told them in postgame, I want to see them compete tomorrow. Challenge them to show up and compete better than they did today," Salyers said.
"So, we’ll see if we get a response and we’ll try to build on it from there."
Licking Valley 1, Abingdon 0
The Abingdon Falcons were stymied on offense on Wednesday evening, as they were blanked by the visiting Licking Valley Panthers in a 1-0 loss.
Second baseman Jake Thacker led Abingdon in the loss, finishing 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.
Luke Francisco recorded the only extra-base hit for Abingdon with a two-out double in the third inning.
Licking Valley second baseman Devin McConnell finished 2-for-3 in the win, and drove in the game’s lone run on a double in the fourth inning.