Despite scoring one more run than they did during Tuesday’s win against Ooltewah, the Mustangs still found themselves on the losing side of things as the Owls avenged their loss with a 9-3 victory.
All three of Walker Valley’s runs came in the first inning thanks to a shaky start by Ooltewah pitcher Jackson McClain.
The inning began with Logan Melton getting walked to first, followed by Caleb Longley nailing a hit to center field for a double.
Kamren Barnes loaded the bases after he was hit by a pitch for the 10th time this season.
Thanks to a wild pitch Melton was able to get the first run for the Mustangs, with Longley following close behind after a hit by Josh Poole.
John Simmons was able to bat Barnes in for Walker Valley’s third and what would be final run of the game.
Unfortunately, the Mustangs at-times-inconsistent pitching reared its ugly head in the bottom of the first.
“We did what we had to do in the first inning, we jumped on them three to nothing,” Walker Valley head coach Joe Shamblin commented. “We just couldn’t get the performance we needed on the mound and we’ve got to work at that.”
Drew Lyles had a rough go of it from the hill and the bases were soon loaded due to walks.
The Owls got their first run thanks to another walk.
With no outs and the bases still loaded, Simmons got the call to the pitcher’s mound in an attempt to salvage the unpleasant situation.
Ooltewah’s Drew Williams then smashed one out of the park, making the score 5-3 just like that.
One more run soon followed before the Mustangs were able to end the inning.
Simmons and the Walker Valley defense were able to hold the Owls off four more innings before their bats broke loose once again in the sixth.
Much to the Navy-and-Gold’s dismay, McClain’s was able to rack up 14 strikeouts, just three hits and the lone walk allowed was in the first inning.
The Mustangs record now stands at 5-1, tying them for second place with Ooltewah. Cross county rivals Bradley Central leads the district with a record of 5-0.
Walker Valley will finish up the week in Kingsport in tournament action.
Their next home game is a district matchup against the struggling Blue Raiders at 7 p.m. on April 1.
Walker Valley 300 000 0 — 3 3 1
Ooltewah 600 003 x — 9 8 0
WP: Jackson McClain (3-0) 7 IP, 14 Ks, 1 BB, 3 hits; LP: Drew Lyles HR: Drew Williams (O) 3B: Kevin Dupree (O) 2B: Caleb Longley; Brody Binder (O); Williams (O); Chase Morrissey (O) Records: Walker Valley 8-4, 5-1 District 5-AAA; Ooltewah 10-4, 5-1 District 5-AAA.