Hits were like sunny, warm days during the sequence that it took Great Crossing to play its first three games of the baseball season.
You might have seen one now and then, but stringing them together long enough to get comfortable was another story.
After twin two-run outputs in a split with Tates Creek and Eastern to christen the campaign, GC was shut out in a regular-season game for the first time in program history, 3-0, against Shelby County at home Thursday night.
“We had as many hits as they did, but they're scattered hits, and that's what we've got to get past,” Great Crossing coach Greg Stratton said. “It's hard to do what we like to do when you get one runner on every other inning.”
Great Crossing's only other two goose eggs were against Frederick Douglass (2021) and Lafayette (2022) in the 11th Region quarterfinals.
The Warhawks got well over the weekend, tallying 30 runs in a doubleheader sweep of Southwestern and Whitley County.
In a rare feat this early in the season, Shelby County's Kemper Whisman spun a complete-game shutout. He allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked only one while hitting the 110-pitch maximum on Zach Morris' grounder to end the game.
“The last couple innings we were guessing,” Stratton said. “He had a nice breaking pitch, but it was basically what we worked on yesterday. We were just out in front of it still.”
Whisman benefited from a couple of bang-bang defensive plays at the corner, including an overturned call that kept a potential tying run off the board in the bottom of the fourth.
Micah Mullins ignited that threat with a leadoff hit. Nate Adkins sandwiched a walk between a strikeout and an infield fly. With two out, Mullins hustled with a headfirst slide after Ben Lacy's grounder to third and appeared to beat Shelby County's Kaleb Oskins to the bag. After an initial safe signal and a dispute from the Rockets, the call was reversed.
“The field ump said, 'He just loafed over there.' Well, that's what happens,” Stratton said. “(Mullins') hand was in there, but it's one of those things that what can you do?”
GC threatened again after Drake Byrd's leadoff single in the fifth, but Byrd was left 90 feet from home after first baseman Myles Strong stretched to retire Dustin Hoffman by a step on an inning-ending chopper.
Starting pitcher Caleb Morrison deserved a better fate for the Warhawks. The senior left-hander gave up only two hits and one unearned run in his five innings of work. He struck out five and walked one.
All four of Morrison's varsity stints last season were in relief.
“He's relished (the new) role. He wants to start, and he should be starting,” Stratton said. “He's really worked on his mechanics, being able to keep his front shoulder in and driving to the plate.”
An error set up Foster Whisman's RBI double with two out in the top of the third. Morrison sat down the next seven, striking out the side in his final frame.
Willie Stollings (2-for-3) was the line repeat hitter for the Warhawks.