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Good With The Bad

Carruthers silver lining as Rebels fall in opener to Bearden
Maryville right-hander Cole Carruthers proved a bright spot against the Bulldogs in 5 1/3 innings of shutout relief on Monday. Photos by Wallace Bowden

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Alex Curl had a bad day.

Carruthers (28) relieves starter Alex Curl in the Bearden second.

Carruthers (28) relieves starter Alex Curl in the second.

It happens.

The good news for Maryville in a 7-2, opening-day loss to Bearden on Monday was right-hander Cole Carruthers had a great day.

Curl, a senior left-hander and Tennessee signee, struggled after a strong start, Maryville coach Jim Gaylor lifting the professional pitching prospect after 1 2/3 innings.

The Bulldogs taxed the Rebels for all seven runs in the second after Curl, whose fastball has been clocked in the 90s, worked a 1-2-3 first. It wasn’t so much Bearden hit the ball all around Maryville College’s Scotland Yard as it was five walks and one hit batsman put aboard.

The Bulldogs put two runs across on bases-loaded walks. Bearden left-hander David Beam, the opposing starter, had the big hit in the inning on a two-RBI single to left.

Beam was singled home after Carruthers took the hill, but that was it.

“Cole went out there and worked 5 1/3 and was never bothered at all,” Maryville coach Jim Gaylor said. “He had his curveball working well and he pitched with a lot of confidence.”

Carruthers worked the last five plus yielding only a pair of singles and striking out six, allowing only a single Bulldog to board.

“Obviously, my defense played great,” Carruthers said. “I just put it in the strike zone and gave them something to play with. Alex had one bad inning. He’ll battle back.”

Dylan Shinsky tosses his bat to the Maryville dugout after a leadoff walk.

Dylan Shinsky tosses his bat to the Maryville dugout after a leadoff walk.

The Rebels struck first, third baseman Dylan Shinsky reaching on a leadoff walk in the Maryville first. Kyler Lang singled him up the base paths, with sophomore Evan Porter colleting the RBI on a deep fly ball to centerfield.

Beam limited the damage with a ground ball to third and a strikeout to get out of the inning.

“They got the hits when they needed them,” Gaylor said. “When there were a few chances for us, we weren’t able to get the hits.”

Four of Bearden’s seven runs in the second got aboard by walk or batter hit by pitch.

Monday was Curl’s first outing for Maryville since signing with Tennessee in November. Being a marked man every outing takes some getting used to, but he’ll adjust, he said.

“You’ve got to approach it differently,” Curl said. “You’ve got to go out there with the mindset you’re pitching for your (current) team.”

The Rebels pulled back a run in the Maryville fifth after a Bearden pitching change. Shinsky led off the inning and reached on an error with Josh Lambert collecting the RBI four batters later after being hit by a pitch.

With the bases loaded and one out, the Rebels could get no one else across.

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