The Bears downed Red Bank Thursday evening before stopping co-host Chattanooga Central in an 18-13 slugfest Friday. On Saturday, Bradley split a twin bill, blasting Chattanooga Christian School in a 12-2 mercy-rule final, but then fell to Boyd-Buchanan 8-7 as their rally fell shy.
Coach Travis Adams’ team will return to Hixson High School this afternoon at 2 to square against East Hamilton in the title game.
Bears 18, Pounders 13
Six of the first seven Bradley batters reached base and scored while the Chattanooga Central starter issued nine free passes before giving way to a reliever.
The second frame proved to be a repeat for the Bears when five of the first half dozen batters circled the bases to put the Black-and-Gold up 11-0 with only four hits.
The host Pounders managed a run in the bottom of the third but Bradley answered with a solo score in the top of the fourth.
Chattanooga Central avoided the mercy rule with a five-run rally in the bottom of the fifth frame but once again the Bears responded by crossing the plate six times in the top of the sixth as sophomore Caleb Pippenger provided the big shot with a three-run blast over the left field wall.
The pesky Pounders posted a last-ditch effort in the bottom of the sixth with a seven-run rally but even though they were able to pull within five runs of the lead, the tournament time limit ended the contest.
The teams combined for 31 runs on 20 hits, while both squads committed three errors. Pounder pitchers issued 14 free passes, while the Bear hurlers handed out nine.
Sophomore Nate Mills (2-0) earned his second pitching victory of the young season, going the first 4.2 innings, striking out eight, walking five and surrendering just one earned run.
Sophomore Jacob Maynard and senior Joshua Lee paced the Bear offense by getting on base four times each. Maynard laced a double and a single, both driving in runs, plus walked twice, stole a base and scored a run. Lee drew three free passes, smoked a double, scored a trio of runs and stole a base.
Pippenger drove in four Bradley runs with a fielder’s choice groundout and a walk to go with his dinger. Junior Corey Loftis helped the winning cause with a pair of singles, three RBI and two runs scored in three at bats.
Senior Hayden Robinson reached base three times, including an RBI-double, while sophomore Jacob Fowler had a pinch-hit double. Senior Kody Ward and sophomore Brently White both reached base three times and scored twice.
Junior Matt Whitmire drew a pair of walks, one of which drove in a run, plus he scored twice before classmate Robbie Works replaced him in the lineup and laced an RBI-hit, plus scored a run.
Bears 12, Chargers 2
Bradley put up three runs in the first inning and a solo run in the second before posting a five-spot in the fourth fame and ending the game early with a three-run fifth.
Senior Kody Ward went the distance on the hill, scattering five hits and giving up a run in CCS’s final two at bats. The lanky right-hander struck out five and issued four free passes.
Ward also led the Bear offense with a trio of singles and two RBI, while White helped out with a double and a single.
Works drove in a pair of runs with a single, while Pippenger and Chase Wiseman each had run-scoring hits. Whitmire and Loftis both had RBIs.
Bucs 8, Bears 7
Boyd-Buchanan scored led 8-1 after three and a half innings, but Bradley bounced back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth before time ran out.
Robinson stroked a pair of hits for the Bears, while Charlie Brown and Loftis each laced a double. White, Ward, Maynard, Wiseman and Works added a hit apiece.
BEARS 18, POUNDERS 13
Bradley Central 650 106 — 18 11 3
Chattanooga Central 001 057 — 13 9 3
WP: Nate Mills (2-0) 4.2 IP, 8 Ks, 5 BB, 4 H, 1 ER. LP: M. Holland 1 IP, 2 Ks, 9 BB, 1 H, 6 ER. HR: Caleb Pippenger (BC). 2B: Jacob Maynard, Hayden Robinson, Jacob Fowler (BC); B. Davis, R. Poole, A. Jones, K. Lemons (CC). RBI: Pippenger 4, Corey Loftis 3, Maynard 2, Matt Whitmire, Robbie Works, Robinson (BC); Poole 4, Jones 3, Lemons 2, Davis, M. Holland (CC). Records: Bradley Central 3-0; Chattanooga Central 0-4.
BEARS 12, CHARGERS 2
Chattanooga Christian 000 11 — 2 5 4
Bradley Central 310 53 — 12 8 2
WP: Kody Ward (1-0) 5.0 IP, 5 Ks, 4 BB, 5 H, 2 ER. LP: Day. 2B: Brently White (BC). RBI: Ward 2, Robbie Works 2, Chase Wiseman, Caleb Pippenger, Matt Whitmire, Corey Loftis (BC). Records: Bradley Central 4-0.
BUCS 8, BEARS 7
Boyd-Buchanan 311 300 — 8 8 2
Bradley Central 001 321 — 7 9 1
2B: Charlie Brown, Corey Loftis (BC). Records: Bradley Central 4-1.