During the Mustangs’ 4-0 win over the Wildcats, Lyles stuck out a total of 13 batters and walked six.
“I’m proud of the seniors. Drew threw a no hitter and it was probably one the of the two best games he’s thrown,” Mustang head coach Joe Shamblin said.
Lyles struck out two batters in four of the seven innings he pitched.
Walker Valley was able to strike first in the bottom of the second.
Elijah Haynie came up to bat with one out remaining in the inning and hit a bullet that a diving Hixson centerfielder was unable to catch.
Following the triple, a wild pitch to senior Austin Scott was enough to bring Haynie in for the first run of the night.
The Mustangs got their next run in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, senior Josh Poole was walked, and Dallas Kuykendall took over as a courtesy runner for the catcher.
Senior Chase Prince was up to bat next and was also walked. Walker Valley now had runners on first and second base, and a single from Haynie drove Kuykendall home.
In the fifth inning Logan Melton was walked and then was able to steal second base on a wild pitch to senior Caleb Longley. Longley’s hit to centerfield brought Melton in from second for Walker Valley’s third run.
The fourth and final run of the evening came in the bottom of the sixth.
“We didn’t hit the ball as good as I wanted to, but it’s still a win,” Shamblin commented.
Due to the defensive efforts of Walker Valley, Hixson was unable to ever make it past second base for the entirety of the game.
Friday evening marked the final home game of the season, as the Mustangs will travel to Baylor on Monday to once again take on the Red Raiders prior to beginning their postseason.
Last year Walker Valley made a post-season run, advancing to the TSSAA State Semi-Finals where they ultimately lost to Bearden High School out of Knoxville.
Having lost seven members of last year’s team due to graduation, Shamblin knows that his team will have to work on many different aspects to make a successful go of it again.
“We’ve got to polish everything up and make sure that we’re full speed going into the tournament,” Shamblin explained. “Defense, offense, pitching, base running, we’ve got to work on it all and make sure we know what we’re doing out there.”
District tournament action will begin for Walker Valley on Thursday, May 4 at 5 p.m. down in Soddy-Daisy against the host team and seventh seed Trojans.
Just last week, the number two seeded Mustangs were able to sweep Soddy-Daisy in back-to-back games.
“The biggest thing is making sure our bats stay going and we hit the ball,” Shamblin said.
MUSTANGS 17, WILDCATS 1
Earlier on Friday evening, Walker Valley’s JV team was able to outscore Hixson’s team by 16 runs for a dominating 17-1 win.
Kyle Goins, Zack Wilcox, Ryan Shank and Brian Oliver all saw pitching action during the one run, two hit game.
Ryan Shank went 3-4 at the plate, while Goins was 3-3 with three RBIs.
MUSTANGS 4, WILDCATS 0
Hixson 000 000 0 — 0 0 0
Walker Valley 010 111 x — 4 7 1
WP: Drew Lyles 7 IP, 0 H, 13 K, 6 BB. LP: Gill Brown 3B: Elijah Haynie. Other highlights: Haynie 3-3, 2 runs; Logan Melton 1-3; Caleb Longley 1-2, RBI; Bradley Smith 1-4, RBI; Lyles 1-3. Record: Walker Valley 18-12, 5-AAA 9-3.