Darlington demolishes Crestwood 21-0 in just three innings
By Drake Horton, Contributing Writer
Darlington – The Darlington Falcons capped off a strong week by blistering the Crestwood Knights 21-0 in a game that was called after just three innings of play this past Thursday at home.
From the beginning, it was evident that the Falcons were in a completely different league than the Knights.
It was such a dominating performance by Darlington and its starting pitcher Gage Weatherford that Crestwood was never even able to bat through its lineup more than once with Weatherford facing the minimum nine batters in his perfect three innings of pitching.
And while Crestwood was unable to find any offense Darlington did not have any problems, scoring 11 runs in the first inning and 10 runs in the second inning.
In the first inning the Falcons’ first 10 batters reached base safely before the first out was recorded and in all sent a total of 17 hitters to the plate before Crestwood finally recorded the third out. The second inning was as nearly impressive as the first with 16 batters getting a chance at the plate.
By the time the bottom of the second inning came around Darlington head coach Dennis Gearhart began to empty his bench, giving every player a chance to play and every player capitalized on that opportunity as each reserve reached base in some way, shape or form.
“What I’m really excited about is that we had some guys come off the bench tonight and have an opportunity to get some playing time and they were successful and that just shows how hard our kids are working at practice every day,” Gearhart said. “It’s kind of a next man up mentality. If something were to ever happen we have faith in the guys behind them that they can come in and do the jobs. So that is what I am most pleased about overall.”
But as dominate as the game was for Darlington, who sent 33 batters to the plate in just two half innings, including everyone on the bench, it more of just how bad Crestwood’s pitching and defense was.
Yes, Weatherford was perfect through his three innings of pitching and in all honesty none of the Knight batters ever looked comfortable against the junior southpaw, but the performance by Crestwood’s pitching and defense was absolutely abysmal.
The Knights, who went through four pitchers in the just two innings, walked nine, hit two and threw two wild pitches and it was these mistakes on the mound to go along with the five errors in the field that was just too much because Darlington seemed to make Crestwood pay for every mistake.
Darlington walked twice with the bases loaded, scored six runs on those five errors, while also scoring once on a hit-by-pitch and wild pitch. That is 10 runs alone just off of the mistakes, not even taking into account how many extra at bats that gave Darlington which resulted in even more runs.
If any fault could have been found in Darlington’s performance was that it ended both the first and second innings with the bases loaded, but that is somewhat misleading because for a majority of both those innings the Falcons kept the bases loaded.
The win was Darlington’s fourth in a row improving the Falcons to 9-4 overall and 2-2 in the region.
The Falcons played in two other games this past week, both coming out as wins.
Both games were on the road, but both times the Falcons made themselves at home, beating Lamar 6-2 and Crestwood 6-0.
In the Crestwood game, starting pitcher Anthony Hopkins pitched a no-hitter, striking out 16.