Four teams are still alive in the District 5-AAA Tournament at the McKenzie Baseball Complex, half of which are from Bradley County, but only one will survive.
Top-seeded Walker Valley claimed an easy 12-5 victory over county rival Cleveland Friday night to advance to the winners bracket final, but ran into a red-hot Ooltewah squad Saturday who did something no other team had done this season — score earned runs off ace Bobby Towne in a 7-5 final.
Fourth-seeded Bradley Central fell victim to the Owls 4-0 as well Friday but bounced back for its fourth win of the season over the crosstown rival Raiders by a 5-0 margin to stay alive.
Tournament action will resume Monday with the Bears (23-12) taking on Soddy-Daisy in a 7 p.m. elmination contest. The Trojans had to score twice in the final at bat for a narrow 3-2 win over a surprise McMinn County team in Saturday’s opener.
The winner will advance to face the Mustangs (22-9) Tuesday evening at the same time with a Region 3-AAA berth on the line and a shot at the Owls in Wednesday night’s district championship game at 5. A second title game will follow immediately if necessary.
Owls 7, Mustangs 5
After an evenly fought first four innings, Ooltewah (23-11) broke open a 1-all game with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth and then exploded for a 4-spot in the next frame to take a six-run lead.
Walker Valley fought back, putting four runs up on the board in bottom of the sixth but cutting it to a two-run difference was as close as the stallions would come.
Towne, who had not given up an earned run in seven previous victories this season, went 5 2/3 innings on the hill, surrendering 11 hits, five walks and all seven runs, six of which were earned.
Five Owls finished with two hits apiece, including T.J. Binder, who had a pair of doubles and drove in a three runs. Kyle Kapherr, Logan Fugate, Cody Rhinehardt and Brody Binder each hit safely twice, while Chase Morrissey and Drew Williams drove in a pair of runs apiece.
Walker Valley made the most of five hits of Jackson McClain as Towne went 2-for-4 at the dish and drove home a teammate. Bradley Smith also had a RBI-hit, while Jake Ward “took one for the team” in a bases-loaded situation. Caleb Longley plated a teammate, while Logan Longwith had a single.
McClain went the distance on the hill, striking out eight, walking one, hitting a pair and allowing five earned runs as the Owls won their third straight game in as many days.
Bears 5, Raiders 0
After getting shutout the night before, Bradley bounced back to blank arch-rival Clevleand High Saturday afternoon to end the Blue Raiders’ season.
Coming back on two days rest, senior ace Jordan Whitmire went the distance on the hill firing a three-hit shtout for the Bears. The 6-foot-4 righty struck out nine and gave out just one free pass to improve to 7-3 on the campaign.
Bradley picked up the first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning when senior Chase Wiseman walked, stole second and came around to score on a double by junior Caleb Pippenger.
The hosts added another run in their next at bat when Brently White got plunked, moved up on a single by sophomore Cal Pickel before senior Dylan Johnston laced an RBI-hit.
The rest of the Bradley runs came in the sixth inning when Wiseman sent a hard line drive off Raider pitcher Conor Hale’s leg. As Hale went to the ground, the ball ricocheted into right field for a double, scoring both Pickel and Johnston who had reached base on Raider errors.
After Hale left the game, Wise advanced to third on a ground out and then scored the final run on a balk. Hale was reportedly icing the injury after the game but otherwise okay.
White reached base all three times he batted with a pair of singles plus he was hit by a pitch. Johnston was the only other batter with two hits, but Pippenger and Pickel both had a hit and were plunked. That was the 14th time Pippenger has been hit this season.
Jake Wyrick doubled, while Jake Moats and Robert Parr both singled for the Raiders hits in the contest.
Mustangs 12, Raiders 5
Walker Valley scored in five of its six at bats, including a pair of four-run rallies.
After the first nine batters of the game got set down in order, the Mustangs galloped ahead battig around in the bottom of the second on four singles, a hit batter and a walk. A spectular diving catch by Reed Allison on a sinking line drive brought the rally to an end, but the damage was done as Walker Valley led 4-0.
Josh Poole rapped a run-scoring double in the bottom of the third to push the difference to 5-0.
After leaving the bases loaded in their previous at bat, Cleveland got on the board in the fourth frame as Jake Moats and Caleb Hiddleson both laced RBI-doubles. Hiddleson’s shot which brought chalf behind the third base bag, was his first hit in three at bats after returning from a serious back injury that cost him the basketball and most of the baseball seasons.
The Mustangs answered with its second 4-spot in the bottom of the inning with Logan Longwith delivering a two-run single, while Chris Caffrey and Bradley Smith both smoked RBI-hits.
A two-run single by Bobby Towne in the bottom of the sixth pushed the Walker Valley lead to nine runs, but the Raiders weren’t willing to concede.
Four of the first five Clevleand batters in the top of the seventh reached base with Robert Parr and Jesse Jones each driving in a run. with runners on second and third, Longwith finished off his relief appearance with his second and third strikouts to end the game.
Walker Valley starter Jared Broome went the first six inning to improve to 7-0 on the season with eight of his nine Ks being posted backwards.
Caleb Longley, Poole, Towne, Broome and Longwith had two hits apiece in the victory.
Owls 4, Bears 0
After not getting any two-out hits in Wednesday night’s 4-2 victory over McMinn County, Bradley rapped three in its first at bat against Ooltewah Friday night but to not avail as their were all left standing.
The Bears managed just two more hits the rest of the way against Tennesee signee Kevin Dupree. The big Owl lefty struck out seven in the complete-game shutout effort.
After giving up a couple of hits and a sac fly for an Owl run in the opening inning, Bradley junior Nate Mills had a strong stretch going 10 outs in 11 batters before Ooltewah scored again.
Needing just six pitches to strike out the first two Ooltewah batters in the bottom of the fourth, a single by Chase Morrissey and a Bear error on a rundown set the table for Logan Fugate to rap a two-run single.
The Owls picked up another run in the fifth when big T.J. Binder doubled home Brody Binder for the game’s final run.
Robbie Works, Caleb Pippenger, Jacob Fowler, Brently White and Baylor Terrell each had a single for Bradley’s only hits.
BEARS 5, BLUE RAIDERS 0
Cleveland 000 000 0 — 0 3 2
Bradley Central 001 103 x — 5 7 1
WP: Jordan Whitmire (7-3) 7 IP, 9 Ks, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 3 H, 0 ER. LP: Conor Hale 5 IP, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 3 HBP, 7 H, 2 ER. 2B:Jake Wyrick (C); Caleb Pippenger, Chase Wiseman (BC). RBI: Wiseman 2, Pippenger, Dylan Johnston (BC). Highlights: Brently White 2-for-2, HBP, r; Johnston 2-for-4, RBI, r; Wiseman1-for-3, BB, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 r; Cal Pickel 1-for-2, HBP, r; Pippenger 1-for-3, HBP, 2B, RBI (BC). Records: Cleveland 13-19; Bradley Central 23-13.
MUSTANGS 13, BLUE RAIDERS 5
Cleveland 000 201 2 — 5 8 5
Walker Valley 041 412 x —12 14 1
WP: Jared Broome (7-0) 6 IP, 9 Ks, 2 BB, 6 H, 3 ER. LP: Taylor Thompson 3 IP, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 7 H, 7 ER. 2B: Nick Miller, Caleb Hiddleson, Jake Moats, Jesse Jones (C); Josh Poole (WV). RBI: Jones, Moats, Hiddleson, Conor Hale, Robert Parr (C); Poole 2, Logan Longwith 2, Bobby Towne 2, Jared Broome, Chris Caffrey, Bradley Smith (WV). Highlights: Kimsey Bell BB, reached on error, 2 r; Reed Allison 2 BB, r (C); Poole 2-for-4, reached on error, 2 RBI, SB, r; Towne 2-for-4, BB, 2 RBI, SB, 2 r; Longley 2-for-4, r; Broome 2-for-4, RBI; Longwith 2-for-4, 2 RBI, SB, 2 r (WV). Records: Cleveland 13-18; Walker Valley 22-8.
OWLS 4, BEARS 0
Bradley Central 000 000 0 — 0 5 2
Ooltewah 100 210 x — 4 7 0
WP: Kevin Dupree 7 IP, 7 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 5 H, 0 ER. LP: Nate Mills (4-2) 4 IP, 4 Ks, 1 BB, 7 H, 2 ER. 2B:Brody Binder, T.J. Binder (O). RBI: Logan Fugate 2, T.J. Binder 2 (O). Highlights: T.J. Binder 1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI; Brody Binder 2-for-4, 2B, 2 r (O); Robbie Works 1-for-2, BB, 2 IP, 1 K, 0 H 2 BB (BC). Records: Ooltewah 22-11; Bradley Central 22-13.