After a 6-2 victory over Stone Memorial Thursday, the Bears went 10 innings but had to settle for a tie against Christian Academy of Knoxville Friday before falling to Alcoa 6-3 Saturday afternoon.
Now 2-2-1 after the opening week of the TSSAA baseball season, including a 1-1 District 5-AAA mark, the Bears must get ready to square off against arch-rival Cleveland High Monday and Tuesday in a district home-and-home series.
The two local squads will play at Raider Field Monday and the Toby McKenzie Baseball Complex Tuesday. Both games have a 7 p.m. first pitch slated.
Tornadoes 6, Bears 3
Playing at McMinn County High School for their first two games of the special event, Bradley got to host the Tornadoes in their finale Saturday.
After both teams put up a run in the third inning before the Bears went ahead 2-1 after four frames, the boys from Blount County kicked up a storm with a pair of scores in the fifth and three more in the sixth to seal the victory. Bradley was able to add a run in the game’s final at-bat, but that was as close as they would come.
Alcoa (4-1) got on the scoreboard first with a run in the top of the third, but the hosts answered in the bottom of the frame when junior Tanner Cox laced a one-out single, advanced to second on a passed ball and then scored on a double by senior Caleb Pace.
The Bears took the lead in their next at-bat when junior Austin Calfee singled and courtesy runner Chandler Duggan stole second, moved to third on an error and then came home on a sacrifice fly by senior Jordan Timmons.
After the Tornadoes exploded for their five runs in the next two frames, senior Cal Pickel opened the Bears’ last hope with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when classmate Jacob Barnes lifted a sac fly to the outfield.
Bradley, which had committed five fielding errors the night before, had four miscues in Saturday’s contest.
Bears 7, Warriors 7
ATHENS — Three extra innings weren’t enough to settle this one as neither team could cross the plate in the final four innings.
After the Warriors put a pair of runs on the scoreboard in the opening inning and a solo score in the third, the Bears fought back to even things up with a three-run rally in the top of the fourth frame.
Calfee led the at-bat off with a walk before senior Brett Standifer doubled and classmate Hunter Rogers was plunked to load the bases.
Sophomore Kylar Lynn stepped to the dish and delivered a ringing double to plate a pair of runs and move Rogers to third base, from where he scored a moment later on a sacrifice fly by 10th-grader Tyler Carpenter.
After CAK retook the lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning, Bradley put a 4-spot on the board in the top of the fifth.
Barnes, who went 3-for-5 in the contest, stroked a one-out single before Calfee was hit by a pitch and Standifer drew a base on balls.
With the sacks full, senior Logan Blackwell delivered a single to plate a run to even the score.
After a strikeout for the second out of the at-bat, Cox ripped a bases-clearing, three-run double.
A trio of mistakes bit the Bears in the bottom of the sixth when a leadoff walk came back to haunt them as the next batter sent the ball out of the park.
After a ground-out, the next Warrior struck out, but the ball got away on the third strike, and he was able to beat the throw to first.
A two-out walk moved the runner to second, and the fifth Bradley error of the contest allowed him to score and knot things up once again.
Both teams had chances to score in the final four frames, but neither could push a runner across the plate.
Bradley Central 000 340 000 0 — 7 8 5
CAK 201 103 000 0 — 7 5 2
HR: Peter Merry, Josh Johnson (CAK); 2B: Bryce McMillan (CAK); Brett Standifer, Kylar Lynn, Tyler Carpenter (BC); RBI: Johnson 2, Sharp 1, Merry 1 (CAK); Tanner Cox 3, Lynn 2, Logan Blackwell 1, Carpenter 1 (BC); Highlights: McMillan 2-5, 2 runs (CAK); Jacob Barnes 3-5, run; Cox 1-2, 3 RBI; Blackwell 1-3, RBI, run; Lynn 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI; Standifer 1-3, 2B, 2 runs; Cox 1-2, 2B, 3 RBI (BC). Records: Bradley Central 2-1-1; CAK 2-1-1.
Alcoa 001 023 0 — 6 7 1
Bradley Central 001 100 1 — 3 5 4
WP: Chase Neiberger 7 IP, 5 H, 8 Ks, 5 BB, 2 ER; LP: Austin Calfee (0-1) 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 Ks, 3 BB, 5 ER. HR: Malik Love (A); 2B: Jaquez Tyson (A); Caleb Pace, Cal Pickel (BC); RBI: Love 2, Tyson 2, Austin Morgan 1 (A); Jacob Barnes 1, Jordan Timmons 1, Pace 1 (BC); Highlights: Pickel 1-2, 2B, run; Tanner Cox 1-3, run; Tyler Carpenter 1-3; Calfee 1-4, run (BC). Records: Alcoa 4-1; Bradley Central 2-2-1.