Although the weather was perfect for a ball game, Polk County found themselves playing a game that was anything but perfect Friday evening in Ooltewah.
The Wildcats were unable to clip the Owls wings and found themselves outscored 11-2 by the time it was all over.
Polk County was able to get the first run as starting lefty pitcher Justin Brown was brought home by Matt Hammons.
Ooltewah’s hard-hitting bats would answer with six runs of their own in the bottom of the first.
“You can’t win giving up six spots. They (Ooltewah) swing it well and had a bunch of hits. If we can avoid a big innings that keeps it close,” Wildcat head coach Michael Carter said.
A hit by Brown drove Hunter Carter home, which gave Polk their second and final run in the top of the second.
By the bottom of the second, right handed pitcher Andrew Aldridge had been given the nod to take over for Brown.
“We put ourselves behind the eight-ball early. That big inning put us behind all game long,” Carter commented. “We were trying to play catch up and hit the ball but just didn’t have timely hits.”
The Wildcats were able to successfully stall the Owls bats for the next three innings. The problem for the Big Red was that Ooltewah was able to hold them scoreless for the remainder of the game.
“We put guys on base late in the game there and didn’t lay down and quit. The guys were still battling for balls late in the game. We just gave up too much too early to really be a threat,” Carter explained.
In the top of the sixth Polk County had the opportunity to knock a few more runs in after a hit by freshman pinch hitter Ben Norwood loaded up the bases with only one out.
“Ben Norwood is a freshmen and he’s going to be a good player for us. He swings the bat pretty well and he’s hit the ball pretty good for us,” Carter said.
Sadly, the Owls pitching and defense made sure that the Wildcats weren’t able to capitalize on their bases loaded situation.
Ooltewah was able to get three more runs in the bottom of the sixth.
With the final inning upon them, Polk County made one last attempt to get some more runs on the board.
Once again the bases were loaded, and once again the Wildcat hitting came up empty handed.
“We’ve got to hit the ball better from a scoring position,” Carter remarked. “Hitting with nobody on base is great but we need to get runners in.”
Polk County 110 000 0 — 2 8 1
Ooltewah 620 003 — 11 14 2
WP: Drew Williams (3-1) 6 IP, 7 K LP: Justin Brown 2B: Brodie Binder; Kevin Dupree; Chase Morissey (O). Other highlights: Hammons 2-4, RBI (PC).