Five different Mustang pitchers combined to one-hit the visiting Jets, and despite some solid Cumberland pitching the Walker Valley bats got it done in the end, winning by a final of 2-1.
“Tonight was a good tune-up for our pitching. We got to see a number of our guys get out there and work hard and throw strikes. We’ll take it. It was good for our kids,” stated Walker Valley head coach Joe Shamblin.
It was a pitchers’ duel for sure as seven different pitching changes occurred between the two teams through the seven innings of play, and no one pitcher made it easy on the batters they faced.
Senior Matt Kirby got the start for Walker Valley. Matthew Simmons, Jared Broome, Logan Longwith and Bobby Towne also took the mound in the win.
The Mustangs had their first shot in the home half of the second when Bradley Smith knocked a two-out single to get things started and then stole second. Josh Poole drew a walk, and Austin Scott came into pitch run.
Both runners advanced on a double steal, and Jared Broome loaded the bases when he was clipped by a pitch. But, all three were left on as Cumberland’s hurler got a groundout to end the jam.
Walker Valley did manage to get on the board in the bottom of the third when Matthew Simmons led off with a monster stand-up double. Chris Caffrey laid down a sacrifice grounder to move Simmons to third, and Caleb Longley drove him home with a sacrifice of his own.
Cumberland answered in their next at bat though when some Mustang miscues took their toll and allowed the Jets to plate a run on no hits and a pair of errors.
Home bats battled back though, and in the bottom of the fourth Walker Valley retook the lead for good when Logan Hindman drew a base on balls and then stole second. Poole brought him home with a go-ahead RBI single.
“We faced some really good pitching tonight. From what I understand their pitching and defense has kept them in a lot of games this season. But, we were able to hang with them and battle through some stuff to get the win,” Shamblin said.
The Mustangs will face off in one more regular season game tonight as they travel to Baylor for a 5 o’clock start against the Red Raiders before kicking off their district tournament Friday against the winner of Rhea County and Cleveland High School’s opening round game on Wednesday.
MUSTANGS 2, JETS 1
Cumberland County 000 100 0 — 1 1 0
Walker Valley 001 100 x — 2 6 2
WP: Jared Broome (6-0) 1 IP, 1 Ks, 0 BB, 0 H, 0 ER. 2B:Matthew Simmons (WV). RBI: Caleb Longley, Josh Poole (WV). Records: Cumberland 14-15; Walker Valley 21-8.