SODDY-DAISY — A four-run rally in its last at bat lifted Walker Valley to victory Monday as it handed District 5-AAA leader Soddy-Daisy just its second defeat in league play this season.
After leading 3-0 and 6-2 earlier in the contest, the Mustangs found themselves trailing 9-6 going into the seventh inning. Coach Joe Shamblin’s stallions then broke into a full gallup, ripping four hits and taking advantage of two of their batters getting plunked to retake the lead 10-9.
University of Tennessee signee Brandon Zajac then took the mound in the bottom of the seventh to close the door by notching a trio of strikeouts to earn the save.
The two teams will square off again this evening but this time it will be in Walker Valley’s home corral of Turner Field. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.
The Mustangs (9-9, 4-3 District 5-AAA) burst out of the gate with back-to-back “jacks” from Colton Ward and Logan Longwith in the top of the second inning. Giving the cowhide a ride, Ward’s homer was a two-run shot, while Longwith’s solo “dinger” made the score 3-0.
Soddy-Daisy (12-6, 5-2) answered in its half of the inning with a pair of runs.
After a scoreless third frame, the fireworks once again exploded in the fourth, with Walker Valley rounding the bases three times before the Trojans put a 4-spot on the board in their at bat to even the score at 6-all.
Blasting three long balls of their own in the contest, the home team took the lead with a three-run rally in the bottom of the sixth to put the Mustangs’ backs to the wall.
With the top of the order coming up in the seventh, leadoff batter Bobby Towne got drilled in the face with a pitch and had to leave the game.
Senior Dustin Stowers then stepped into the box and laced his third hit of the game before junior Chris Caffrey “took one for the team” to load the bases.
Zajac plated the first run of the rally with a single, while sophomore Caleb Longley drove in the second.
Still down by a run, Ward and Longwith came through again, this time with back-to-back, two-out RBI-singles.
Soddy-Daisy still had one more shot to pull out the victory, getting a couple of runners on in the bottom of the seventh but the hard-throwing Zajac bore down and recorded his third strikeout of the inning to end the game.
Coming on in relief in the bottom of the sixth, Logan Hindman (2-0) pitched just two-thirds of an inning but earned his second victory of the season.
Longwith and Stowers both went 3-for-4 at the plate, while Ward was 2-for-3. Suttles and Tanner Renfro each roped a double as part of the dozen-hit Mustang stampede.
MUSTANGS 10, TROJANS 9
Walker Valley 030 300 4 — 10 12 1
Soddy-Daisy 020 403 0 — 9 11 1
WP: Logan Hindman (2-0) .2 IP 0 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 1 ER. LP: Jake Leffew. Save: Brandon Zajac 1 IP, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 1 H, 0 EP. HR: Colton Ward, Logan Longwith (WV); Talon Harris, James Fowlkes, Jake Leffew (SD). 2B: Cody Suttles, Tanner Renfro (WV). RBI: Brandon Davis, Ryan Poole 3, Mike Holland 2 (CC); Murray 4, Hiddleson, Robert Parr (C). Highlights: Longwith 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs, Dustin Stowers 3-4, Ward 2-3 HR 3 RBI, Records: Walker Valley 9-9, 4-3 District 5-AAA; Soddy-Daisy 12-6, 5-2 District 5-AAA.