The Paper photo by Lori Poteet 
Chase Dowell on the mound gets the ‘W’ for the Athenians.
The Paper photo by Lori Poteet
Chase Dowell on the mound gets the ‘W’ for the Athenians.

Athenian pitchers Chase Dowell, Brendan Dowell, and Payten Abney combined to limit the Western Boone Stars to a single first-inning hit, and Crawfordsville chased Stars' pitching ace Nathanial Bye 9-0, Tuesday, in Sagamore Athletic Conference action.

Crawfordsville (9-3, 3-0 SAC) acquired the runs they needed in the first two rotations, scoring five runs off of Bye (LP), who saw his defense collapse behind him. The Stars committed four errors and a passed ball to either advance runners into scoring position, or to extend innings. At the same time, Western Boone (2-3, 1-2 SAC) was having trouble connecting with starter Chase Dowell (WP), who consistently stayed ahead in the pitch count.

“Our approach [to this game] was terrible, tonight,” lamented Stars head coach Cesar Barrientos. “The errors we made in the field carried right over to our batting.”

Beyond the first inning, the Stars could manage only two base runners. “It is like we had a huge letdown after Lebanon,” said Barrientos. “We have to come to work and compete.”

Coming off of the Athenian Invitational Tournament, Saturday, Crawfordsville needed to find pitching, so head coach John Froedge could rest Athenians' ace, Trent Johnson. He found not only one great effort, but three.

“We told our guys that we were going to pitch them by committee,” said Froedge, who saw his fourth-ranked Athenians complete their twelfth game on the young season. “I told Chase to get us off to a good start. He sure did that!”

Froedge was also pleased with how his squad responded at the plate. “They pitched a great athlete, and we faced him after a full rest.”

Indeed, Bye, who had a masterful outing against Lebanon last week, only yielded four hits in two innings. But the defensive lapses, and back-to-back extra base hits – a triple by Cayden Jones, and a double by Chase Dowell – forced Barrientos to opt for Lance Oldham in relief.

“Getting a couple of early runs,” said Froedge, “is a big deal in a game like this.”

The bottom half of the Athenian lineup plated the last four runs.

“Our bottom of the order, and our No. 9 hole are very capable. Each year, we fill that slot with a 100% team player like Sam Lucas.” Lucas contributed a Sacrifice and an RBI.

In the meantime, the Dowells continued to perplex the Stars with bookend brilliance. Each pitched three innings, each walked one. Chase Dowell yielded the only hit, and brother Brendan recorded one more strikeout with four. Payten Abney closed out the seventh, retiring the side with two strikeouts and a grounder.

The two teams meet again Thursday at Western Boone.