Carden fans 13  batters, lifting Citizens Bank

By Matt Wilson
STAR Correspondent

   Citizens Bank outlasted Cline-Holder 10-5 in Carter County American League action Tuesday night at Jim Ensor Field.
   Logan Carden picked up the win on the mound for the Bankers, who improved to 11-5 in Little League play. Carden struck out 13 batters en route to handing Cline-Holder its eighth loss against eight victories on the season.
   The Bankers plated two runs in the first inning without the benefit of a hit as Cline-Holder starter Kyle Wash battled control problems.
   Cline-Holder answered with one run of its own in the first as Jordan Banner walked, then promptly stole second and moved on to third via a wild pitch. From there Spencer Nave legged out an infield single, driving home Banner.
   The Bankers extended their lead in the second when, after back-to-back singles from Tyler Matheson and Tyler Ballard, a throwing error from pitcher Kyle Wash while trying to pick a runner off second brought the Citizens Bank lead to 3-1.
   Carden then went to work, silencing the Cline-Holder bats for the next three innings. Zack Naylor led off the third for the Bankers with a walk. The speedster Naylor then swiped second and third on consecutive pitches.
   After a walk to Josh Rasnick, Dustin Vaughn beat out an infield single that allowed Naylor to score, then a throwing error plated Rasnick, giving the Bankers a 5-1 advantage.
   Carden aided his own cause in the fifth as he led things off with a solid single to right. Carden then scored his team's sixth run after Jordan Taylor crushed a gapper to right center.
   Taylor was the big bat for his squad on the night, going 2 for 3 with four RBIs. Cline-Holder responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth as Banner, Logan Andrews and Christian Grissom each pieced together singles off Carden.
   The teams headed into the final inning, with the Bankers holding a commanding 10-3 lead. Wash was able to settle down and sit the Bankers down quietly in the top of the sixth.
   The bottom half of the last inning began with two quick outs after a strikeout by Carden and a pop-up to short. The Cline-Holder squad then made things interesting as it began a two-out rally when Jordan Banner drew a walk to give his team some sign of life.
   An uncharacteristic defensive miscue from the Bankers allowed Wash to reach first. Andrews then smashed a triple down the right-field line that plated both Banner and Walsh and cut the Banker lead to 10-5.
   Nave followed by drawing a walk to put runners at first and third. Carden then gave way to relief pitcher Matheson, who threw only one pitch to save the victory for his team.
   On Matheson's first pitch, Nave attempted to steal second. Most little league teams give up this easy base not daring to throw with a runner on third. The Bankers, though, executed a perfect first and third play in which their catcher, Josh Rasnick, jumped up and threw the ball towards second, but it was cut off by the Banker shortstop, Jake Hubbard. The game ended dramatically when Cline-Holder's third-base runner made the final out at the plate as he thought the catcher had thrown the ball through to second.
   Andrews was 3 for 4 with three RBIs for Cline-Holder.