Mistakes costly as Bears blow big lead
by JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor
Mar 11, 2014 | 751 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bradley Bears
BRADLEY CENTRAL’S Caleb Pace (22) rips a double in the first Bear at bat of the new season, Monday evening at the Toby McKenzie Baseball Complex. The senior outfielder had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run, but East Hamilton came out on top in an eight-inning District 5-AAA affair.  Banner photo, JOE CANNON
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Bradley Central started out the new baseball season with a full head of steam, but then the wheels fell off.

The Bears jumped out to a 6-1 lead over District 5-AAA newcomer East Hamilton after the first four innings at the Toby McKenzie Baseball Complex, but the Hurricanes took advantage of several Bradley mistakes to claim a 7-6 victory in eight innings.

“You don’t win many games leaving 11 men on base and giving up five unearned runs,” lamented Bear head coach Travis Adams.

“We hit the ball well (13 hits), but we made some mistakes in the field (three errors that led to three runs) and walked too many batters,” he added. “We had three guys thrown out at the plate, but we were trying to force their (EH) hand to try to get some runs late.”

The two teams will return to the diamond this evening at 6 at the Chattanooga State facility.

Both will also participate in the 2014 Richard Edwards Memorial Playing for A Cure event this weekend.

Bradley got on the scoreboard quickly Monday evening, with senior Caleb Pace leading off the bottom of the first inning with a ringing double to the left-center field gap and then scoring a moment later on a one-out hit by classmate Jacob Barnes.

The Bears tacked on another score in the third frame when Pace once again led off with a hit, was sacrificed to second, moved to third on a Barnes single and came home on a fielder’s choice grounder by Austin Calfee.

After East Hamilton scored on an error in the top of the fourth, Bradley exploded for a four-run rally in the bottom of the frame.

Pinch hitter Hunter Rogers opened the rally with a walk, followed by a pinch-hit infield single by Tyler Carpenter. After Chandler Duggan was hit by a pitch, senior Brett Standifer stepped to the plate for his first at bat as a Bear and ripped a two-run single.

Pace drove in a run with a groundout, after which senior Baylor Terrell and Barnes ripped back-to-back two-out doubles.

Senior Ty King started the game on the mound for Bradley and gave up just two hits and an unearned run, while striking out five and allowing a pair of free passes before being lifted with a 6-1 advantage after four innings.

“King did a great job,” praised Coach Adams. “He had the flu bug last week and his pitch count was getting high, so with a good lead, we went ahead and pulled him.”

That was the beginning of the Bear unravelling. The reliever who took the hill, walked the first three batters he faced on just 14 pitches and then drove in a run when he plunked the next Hurricane.

After another trip to the mound, Adams brought in senior Seth Lee, who gave up an RBI-single to the first batter but then struck out three of the next four. However, the one who didn’t strike out reached on an error that allowed two more runs to score to even the game at 6-all.

The Bears loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but a failed suicide squeeze prevented a run from scoring, and three men were left on base when the final out was recorded.

Both teams got runners aboard in both the sixth and seventh frames, but were unable to cash in. During the first extra inning, East Hamilton was able to come up with the game winner.

The Hurricane leadoff man got on board after getting hit by a pitch and was sacrificed to second. He moved to third on a throwing error on an unsuccessful fielder’s choice.

After an intentional walk to load the bases, the Bears got the double play ball they were looking for but could only get the runner at second base after a low throw to first allowed the run to score.

On the play, the runner who was forced out at second continued to participate in the play and got caught in a rundown between second and third, while another runner scored. After much discussion by the umpires, interference was called and the second runner who crossed home plate was called out.

After the delay, Bradley went into the bottom of the eighth trailing by a run and even though Barnes got on base for the fifth time on the night, this time with a one-out walk, he was left standing as the next two Bears got out.

Banes went 3-for-3 with a pair of walks, a double, plus he drove in a pair of teammates.

Paced helped out with three hits, including a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Terrell was 2-for-4 with a two-bagger.

Although he got saddled with the loss, Lee had a good four innings with five strikeouts, a pair of walks, one hit batsman, two hits allowed and no earned runs allowed.

Junior Varsity

Bears 10, Hurricanes 2

A six-run third inning rally helped Bradley claim a 10-2 victory in Monday’s JV action.

Sophomore Kylar Lynn led the Bear offense, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and on RBI. Jeremiah Sims was 1-for-1 with a double.

Gunar Norwood picked up the pitching victory with a pair of relief innings, striking out five and not giving up a run.

SUMMARY

East Hamilton 000 150 01 — 7 4 3

Bradley Central 101 400 00 — 6 13 3

WP: Nicholas Woods (1-0) 4 IP, 4 K’s, 3 BB, 4 hits, 0 ER; LP: Seth Lee (0-1) 4 IP, 5 K’s, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 2 hits, 0 ER. 2B: Caleb Pace 2, Jacob Barnes, Baylor Terrell (BC); RBI: Hunter Parker, Hunter Owen (EH); Brett Standifer 2, Barnes 2, Pace, Austin Calfee (BC). Highlights: Owen 2-for-3, 2 runs, RBI (EH); Ty King 4 IP, 5 K’s, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 0 ER; Barnes 3-for-3, 2 BB, 2B, 2 RBI; Pace 3-for-5, 2B, 2 runs, RBI; Terrell 2-for-4 2B; Standifer 1-for-1, 2 RBI (BC). Records: East Hamilton 1-0, 1-0 District 5-AAA; Bradley Central 0-1, 0-1 District 5-AAA.