It couldn’t have been a better day for Carrollton manager Greg Pohlman. The veteran manager notched his 500th career win and was celebrated by his players and parents of the players who sported a couple of signs to commemorate the occasion, which was followed by a team picture. All of that was nice, but at the end of it all Pohlman was more relieved about getting another W, which he credits to his players.
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“A win is a win to me and it's all about the kids and it’s never been about me,” Pohlman said.
The Carrollton Hawks defeated the North Greene Spartans 11-1 in five innings on Thursday afternoon in Carrollton. The win ups the Hawks record to 10-5-1 and 4-0 in the WIVC.
“I’ve been very fortunate here at Carrollton. They’ve let me coach here for a long time and I’ve had a lot of good players,” Pohlman said.
Carrollton has bounced back this week after dropping both games of a doubleheader against the Riverton Hawks last Saturday. They beat North Greene 4-1 on Tuesday and were keen on completing the series sweep.
“It’s important we won these two games because last year we lost to them and took us out of the conference run,” Pohlman said.
Carrollton’s first two batters got base hits and with one out Luke Palan lofted a shallow fly ball to North Greene’s Connor Vincent in left field. The Hawk’s speedy second baseman Jerrett Smith tagged up from third base, but Vincent threw a laser to home plate and gunned down Smith to complete the inning ending double play.
Cole Brannan took the mound for the Hawks and tossed arguably his best game of the season. He threw a complete game, allowing one earned run, and just one hit. Only four Spartans reached base as he struck out six batters and walked two. His record improves to 4-0.
“He had a great game today. He was a little off in the beginning and he went back to the bullpen, got re-warmed up, and got his stuff working,” Pohlman said. “Once he got it working they weren’t going to touch him. He’s a very good pitcher.”
As Brannan was dealing on the mound, the Hawks offense took full advantage. They pushed across two runs in the second inning on errors by the Spartans. Freshman Tyler Barnett scored from third base on a wild pitch, then Brannan trotted home from there, as well on a throwing error to third by the Spartans first basemen.
Carrollton may have to rename themselves the Carrollton Speed Demons as they stole 10 bases and were aggressive all game long on the base paths.
The Hawks added three more runs in the third inning and another in the fourth on a sacrifice fly.
The score was 6-1 Hawks in the fifth inning, but the floodgates quickly opened up on North Greene. Freshman Alex Bowker ripped an RBI single up the middle, Palan knocked another RBI single into centerfield, and Barnett hammered a two-run triple that bounced off the centerfield wall to make it 10-1 Carrollton. Brannan then ended the game with a single to left field that scored Barnett.
Barnett, Bowker, and Palan each went 3 for 4 at the plate as the Hawks busted out 14 hits.
As for Pohlman, victory number 500 is just another win, which sticks to his long-time philosophy.
“All the kids played hard and it’s a team effort. It’s hard to play here because I demand a lot, I expect a lot, and I want the kids to want to win. It’s got to be their number one priority,” Pohlman said.
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