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Comets get back on track with 3-2 win over Panthers

Comets get back on track with 3-2 win over Panthers
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City sophomore Colton Crooks hauls in a long drive from Central Springs’ Josh Stepleton in front of the “Orange Monster” during Tuesday’s game, which the Comets won 3-2.

By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — Amidst a well-played game, mistakes tend to be more costly.

The Charles City Comets and the Central Springs Panthers were matching each others’ solid-hit balls with off-with-the-clink-of-the-bat defense through four-and-a-half innings of Tuesday’s non-conference matchup.

The Panthers had taken a 1-0 in the first inning.

To lead off the bottom of the fifth, Comet sophomore Colton Crooks drove a deep fly ball to left-centerfield. It would have been a difficult play for either of the Central Springs’ outfielders converging on the play, but a momentary lapse of communication allowed the ball to fall untouched on the warning track resulting in a double.

After Cael Bohlen bunted Crooks over to third, and Jeremiah Chapman walked and stole second, JJ Ritter lifted a flyball deep enough to left field to easily score Crooks for the tying run.

Though Crooks’s sprint to the plate was uncontested, Chapman’s advance to third was contested. Chapman’s hard slide knocked away the ball in what would have been a bang-bang call. Chapman took advantage of the “loose ball” and raced home for the go-ahead run.

The Comets soon added another run when senior Tait Arndt clubbed a solo shot over the left-field fence for his team-leading second home run of the season.

The 3-1 lead eventually held up in a 3-2 final.

Tino Tamayo, who also doubled in the game, started for the Comets and yielded one hit and 1 earned run in four innings before Jaxon Daniels finished with three innings of 1-hit relief with the lone run scored against him unearned.

The win got the Comets back on track after they lost a doubleheader to Waverly-Shell Rock on Saturday.

Charles City (6-3) will travel to face Newman Catholic on Thursday.