Mustang starter Bobby Towne was dealing as he held off the home team and led his squad to a 4-0 victory.
“We got the hits Bobby needed. We probably could have pushed in a few more runs, but we scattered our hits and left a few guys on. But, overall I’m pretty pleased with the effort. Now, we just need to focus on tomorrow,” said Walker Valley head coach Joe Shamblin.
Walker Valley jumped out early in the game, kicking off the top of the first with three runs to give the dugout some momentum moving forward.
Logan Longwith, Chris Caffrey and Caleb Longley all drove in runs to give Towne all the room he would need.
That’s not to say the Raiders didn’t have chances. In the bottom of the second Cleveland left Conor Hale stranded on third after a two-out triple.
An inning later the ’Stangs extended their lead when Matthew Simmons hit a lead-off single and advanced on a wild pitch. Longley got a base knock, Kamren Barnes took a base on balls and Longwith drove in Simmons with a single before the side was retired.
Again, Cleveland was presented an opportunity when Reed Allison led off the bottom of the third with a single. Tyler Shugart took a base on balls, and Robert Parr was given a free pass as Towne struggled to find his location.
But, with the bags loaded and one out Towne battled back, ringing up the next two Raider batters to end the jam.
From there on out both starters had the batters right where they wanted them. Neither team could muster more than four batters per inning for the rest of the game, and only a single base runner made it to scoring position in the last four innings of play.
Despite his early inning struggles Taylor Thompson threw a solid outing for the Raiders, going the distance. He rung up four Mustang batters while only issuing one walk.
“Story of the game was that first inning. They had some big hits, but I thought we played some pretty good defensive ball. I don’t think Taylor was very loose that first inning, but he settled down and started getting outs for us. The biggest thing was we couldn’t get any hits,” explained Raider head coach Ted Carson.
Towne was lights out, sitting down 13 Raider batters while issuing four walks. He did struggle with control issues early, but managed to find a way to get out of the tight spots before settling down and really doing work.
“Bobby didn’t necessarily have his best stuff tonight, but he settled in and really pitched out of several early jams and then pitched really well through the last four or so innings,” Shamblin said.
Both teams will square off again early this afternoon at Walker Valley, with the first pitch slated for 1 p.m. Cleveland will be looking to even the series before both teams hit the road for a little spring break tournament action.
The Mustangs are making their annual trip to South Carolina, while the Raiders will play in the Pounder Classic at Chattanooga Central and Hixson.
MUSTANGS 4, RAIDERS 0
Walker Valley 301 000 0 — 4 12 0
Cleveland 000 000 0 — 0 2 0
WP: Bobby Towne 7 IP, 13 Ks, 4 BB, 2 H, 0 ER. LP: Taylor Thompson 7 IP, 4 Ks, 1 BB, 12 H, 4 ER. 3B: Chris Caffrey (WV); Conor Hale (CHS) 2B: Matthew Simmons, Caleb Longley (WV). RBI: Caffrey, Longley, Logan Longwith 2 (WV). Highlights: Towne 2-4, run; Simmons 3-4, run; Longley 2-4, run, RBI; Longwith 2-3, RBI; Jared Broome 2-3. Records: Walker Valley 4-4, 4-1 District 5-AAA; Cleveland 2-1 District 5-AAA.