A highlight of the evening for Walker Valley was that all but one of the team’s seven seniors got into the action. “One pitched the other night and he rested tonight,” said coach Joe Shamblin.
“This was big for our seniors and it shows the appreciation we have for all they’ve done for us,” Shamblin added.
“This was a good night of work as we get ready for the District 5-AAA tournament Saturday,” continued Shamblin. The Mustangs will face Ooltewah in a 4 p.m. game Saturday in the double-elimination bracket of the tournament ... to be played on the Walker Valley field.
The win improves Walker Valley’s record to 18-12 going into the district tournament, and coach Shamblin believes his Mustangs are playing their best baseball of the year. “We’ve won 11 of our last 14 games,” he said after Wednesday’s win.
Shamblin opened Wednesday’s game with senior Brandon Zajac on the mound. The tall left-hander, a University of Tennessee signee, gave up a bloop single to McCallie’s leadoff hitter, then finished his two innings with no additional damage.
Zajac was followed to the mound by Matthew Simmons, Marcus Hunter and Bobby Towne. Towne got the win when his teammates came up with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to break up a 3-3 deadlock.
The four Walker Valley pitchers combined to allowed only five hits and three runs.
McCallie also had a parade of four pitchers. The Tornado opened with Matt Reynolds, who was followed by Tommy Green, Daniel Stone and Jack Ely. Ely took the loss, giving up the three runs in the sixth.
Caleb Longley had a big bat for the Mustangs, recording two doubles and a single with an RBI. Colton Ward had two singles and two RBIs, while Jared Broome had a big single in the sixth for two RBIs.
Zajac had two singles for the Mustangs, while Chris Caffrey got a double and Dustin Stowers a single in the Mustangs’ 10-hit attack.
Kade McGlohon was the only multiple-hit producer for McCallie, with two singles. Tyler Vogclemeier had a double and Evan Speicher and George Harrelson connected for singles.
Walker Valley took the lead in the second inning when Zajac led off with a single. He was erased on a force-out on a grounder by Suttles, but Suttles came home later on a throw to second after a walk to Colton Ward.
McCallie got even in the third on two hit batsmen, and a bunt single by McGolon. The Tornado went ahead 2-1 in the fourth on a double by Vogclemeier and a single from Speicher.
Walker Valley rallied in the bottom of the fourth on singles from Zajac and Ward and a double from Longley for two runs and a 3-2 advantage. McCallie tied the score in the fifth on back-to-back throwing errors by the Walker Valley infield.
The Mustangs galloped to victory in the sixth inning. Longley and Ward singled and designated hitter Hayes Hooper walked. Broome then blooped a run-scoring hit into short right field. A third run came home on a throwing error by the Tornado catcher.
McCallie got a single in the top of the seventh from Harrelson, but Towne retired the final hitter on a pop-out.
MUSTANGS 6, TORNADO 3
McCallie 001 110 0 — 3 5 2
Walker Valley 010 203 x — 6 10 3
Records: Walker Valley 18-12.