The 2012 TSSAA state runner-up Bearden came to town Thursday evening to take on a pair of local teams in Ooltewah Invitational play at the Toby McKenzie Baseball Complex, and made the trip back up Interstate 75 with a win and a loss.
In the opener, junior Chandler Hamilton fired a two-hit complete game shutout at the Bulldogs for a 5-0 Bradley Central victory, while the boys from Knoxville bounced back for a 10-0 victory over Cleveland High in the nightcap.
Both the Bears and Blue Raiders will be back at the McKenzie complex this evening for games against Jackson North Side (3-3). Cleveland (2-7) will take on the Indians in the opener at 6 p.m., while Bradley (5-2) will host the nightcap at 8:30.
The two local teams will play a pair of games Saturday, with the Bears entertaining Franklin County (4-3) at 11 a.m., while the Raiders will travel to Ooltewah at the same time to face Silverdale Academy (5-1). For the third time in the event, Bradley and Cleveland will take on the same team in back-to-back games as the Bears face Sycamore (7-1) at 1:30, while the Raiders will battle the Middle Tennessee squad at 4.
Bears 5, Bulldogs 0
Hamilton and Bearden hurler David Beam were untouchable for the first three innings, giving up a free pass apiece for the lone base runners, while combining to strike out nine of the first 14 batters.
The Bulldogs (4-4) got the first hit of the game when Lan Thomas roped a one-out shot off the right-center field wall for a triple in the top of the fourth. After Hamilton plunked the next batter, he settled down and quelled the threat with a strikeout and a fly ball to right.
Bradley got its bats going it the bottom of the frame when junior Austin Calfee hit a little pop-up that fell untouched between the plate and the pitcher’s mound for an infield single. Senior Jacob Barnes followed with his own triple off the wall in left field to bring Calfee around to score the game’s first run.
Senior Brett Standifer followed with a good squeeze bunt to score Barnes, but the Bears weren’t done. After senior Logan Blackwell drew a two-out walk, classmate Jordan Timmons smoked a double off the left-center field wall to bring him all the way around from first.
Bradley added another run in the bottom of the fifth when senior Chandler Duggan was hit by a pitch, bunted to second by classmate Cal Pickel, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error on the same play.
The final Bear run of the evening came in the sixth as sophomore Kylar Lynn ripped a two-out single and courtesy runner Charlie Hammonds stole second before coming in to score on a Bulldog fielding error on a ball hit by Tanner Cox.
Hamilton picked up his first pitching decision of the season when he went the distance on the mound, finishing with nine strikeouts, a pair of walks and a hit batsman and just two hits allowed. He also picked off a would-be Bulldog base stealer.
The Bear hits were spread out among five players with Barnes’ run-scoring triple and Timmons’ RBI-double leading the way, to go along with Lynn and Calfee’s hits. Senior Caleb Pace also had a single.
Like Hamilton, Beam also went the distance, striking out seven and giving up a trio of free passes, plus the five hits and four earned runs.
Bulldogs 10, Raiders 0
After licking their wounds for a few minutes, Bearden’s Bulldogs came back out with a vengeance, putting four opening-at bat runs on the scoreboard to drop Cleveland in a quick hole.
A pair of Raider errors and a walk led to another run in the second before the Bulldogs exploded for five more scored in the fourth frame.
Nick Monaco tossed the five-inning shutout, allowing five hits and striking out seven, while giving up just one free pass.
Kyle Porritt was the only Bulldog with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 and driving in a run. Andy Beam drove in a pair of runs with a double, while Dalton Kizer and Brady Duncan both had two-run hits.
Cleveland’s Jay McIntire and Clint Clayton both went 2-for-3 with back-to-back hits in the first and last frames, while Kent Christian beat out an infield hit in the second for the other Raider safety.
Both teams left a half dozen runners on base in the contest.
Bearden 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
Bradley Central 000 311 x — 5 5 0
WP: Chandler Hamilton (1-0) 7 IP, 9 K’s, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 2 hits, 0 ER; LP: David Beam 6 IP, 7 K’s, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 5 hits, 4 ER. 3B: Lan Thomas (B); Jacob Barnes (BC); 2B: Jordan Timmons (BC); RBI: Brett Standifer, Barnes, Timmons (BC). Highlights: Thomas 1-2, 3B, BB (B); Barnes 1-3, 3B, RBI, run; Timmons 1-2, 2B, RBI; Austin Calfee 1-3, run; Kylar Lynn 1-1; Caleb Pace 1-3 (BC). Records: Bearden 3-4; Bradley Central 5-2.
Bearden 410 50 — 10 8 0
Cleveland 000 00 — 0 5 2
WP: Nick Monaco 5 IP, 7 K’s, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 5 hits, 0 ER; LP: Chase Henderson 4 IP, 2 Kos, 6 BB, 2 HBP, 7 hits, 9 ER. 2B: Andy Beam (B); RBI: Dalton Kizer 2, A. Beam 2, Brady Duncan 2, David Beam, Elijah Helton, Kyle Porritt, (B). Highlights: Helton 1-1, BB, HBP, 2 runs, SB, RBI; A. Beam 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI, run; Porritt 2-3, RBI; Kizer 1-3, 2 RBI (B); Jay McIntire 2-3; Clint Clayton 2-3; Kent Christian 1-2 (C). Records: Bearden 4-4; Cleveland 2-7.