Raiders drop pitchers' duel

By JOE CANNON
Posted 3/19/19

For the second straight night, Cleveland High got a strong pitching performance, but the Blue Raiders once again came out on the short end of a one-run game."Both our pitchers from the past two …

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Raiders drop pitchers' duel

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For the second straight night, Cleveland High got a strong pitching performance, but the Blue Raiders once again came out on the short end of a one-run game.

"Both our pitchers from the past two nights (Patrick Williams, Asa Blake) have done a great job. They've pitched more than well enough for us to win, but we just haven't been able to pull it off," proclaimed Cleveland head coach Preston Scoggins after the 1-0 loss to district leader East Hamilton (5-2, 4-0 District 5-AAA) at Raider Field Tuesday evening.

"Asa (Blake) gives an outing like that (complete game, seven strikeouts, only one run) tonight and we couldn't give him any support. It's frustrating for a pitching staff and the coaches.

"That's the game of baseball. Sometimes it doesn't roll your way. It's a marathon, not a sprint, but being able to that trust our guys (pitchers) are going to keep us in situations where we're going to be in position to win means a lot," he assessed.

Cleveland (1-3, 0-2 District 5-AAA) will return to its home diamond Friday with a chance to even its record as Sequatchie County comes to town for a twin bill, starting at 5 p.m. 

Blake and East Hamilton starter Noah Pridmore locked horns in a classic pitchers' duel Tuesday evening as the game's lone run wasn't scored until the fifth frame.

Both clubs had scattered three hits in their first four at bats, with the Hurricanes sending just one more batter to the plate than the hosts.

A leadoff walk by Blaine Savage to open the fifth inning came back to haunt the Raiders, as Josh Brown followed with a single and Conner Thornburg laid down a bunt, but the throw pulled the Raider third baseman off the base.

Despite the sacks full and nobody out, Blake struck out two of the next three Hurricane batters, but in between Will Campbell got ahold of a ball and sent it deep enough to right field to plate Savage with a sac fly.

Cleveland looked as if it was going to answer in the bottom of the frame when Sam Wyrick drew a one-out walk, stole second and moved to third on a groundout by Robert Flowers. Hayden Tinsley followed with a hot shot that hugged the right side foul line, but the EH first baseman was able to knock it down and recover quick enough to nip him at the bag to prevent the score.

Both teams got their leadoff hitters on in the seventh frame and advanced them to second, but neither could get them around to score.

"We had no luck tonight," proclaimed Scoggins. "We couldn't get that big hit at the right time.

"They've (EH) been playing some quality baseball. Steve (Garland, the EH coach) has them playing well, and is doing a great job over there.

"We played much better defense tonight (only one error, compared to nine in the previous two games combined)," he added. "The kids are buying into making defense a priority. We did a better job of taking care of the ball tonight.

"The 'want to' is there," Scoggins summarized. "We've got to do a better job of getting guys over and getting them in to score."

While Landen Beaty went 2-for-3 to lead the Cleveland offense, singles by Jack Pullen and Wyrick were the only other hits. The Raiders stranded five runners on base, while forcing the Hurricanes leave eight ducks on the pond.

While Blake went the distance with his seven-strikeout performance, he did allow a half dozen hits, walked two and plunked one. 

Pridmore hurled six shutout innings, scattering four hits and notching four K's while walking a pair. Walker O'Rear came on to pitch the seventh inning, picking up the save.


Game Summary

at Raider Field

Tuesday evening

East Hamilton0000100 — 1 6 0

Cleveland0000000 —  0 4 1

WP: Noah Pridmore (EH) 6 IP, 4 hits, 4 K's, 2 BB, 0 ER. LP: Asa Blake (C) 7 IP, 6 hits, 7 K's, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 1 ER. Save: Walker O'Rear (EH) 1 IP, 1 hit, 0 K, 0 BB. 2B: Bradley Garland (EH). RBI: Will Campbell (EH). SB: Jonathan Powers (C). Highlights: Conner Thornburg 2-3, FC; Garland 1-3, 2B; Blake Hedrick BB, HBP; Blaine Savage BB, run (EH); Landen Beaty 2-3; Jack Pullen 1-3; Sam Wyrick 1-3 (C). Records: East Hamilton 5-2, 4-0 District 5-AAA; Cleveland 1-3, 0-2 District 5-AAA.

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