Cleveland managed only five hits in the final game falling to the Purple Pounders 3-2.
The Raiders will get a chance to close out the tournament on a high note today at 2 p.m. when they face the Pounders once again for the Classic championship.
“We have played good so far. This is our sixth game in three days and we sort of got a little bit ragged out there”" Cleveland coach Ted Carson said of the loss. We hit the ball good all week. Our bats just went dead a little bit. It could be a little fatigue. It's been a long week since Thursday.”
Sophomore Eric Powers took the loss for Cleveland giving up seven hits on the afternoon in front of three Blue Raiders' errors. Powers struck out three and walked three in seven inning of work.
“Eric did real well. He kept the ball down and threw strikes,” Carson said. “The biggest thing I was disappointed in was our play mentally and not being where we needed to be.”
In Thursday's opener with East Hamilton, Jake Wyrick pitched the first no-hitter of the season for the Blue Raiders in the 10-0 win. Wyrick fanned three Hurricanes and walked five. Derek Murray cracked two doubles and Caleb Hiddleson cranked a two-bagger for three of the Raiders' 10 hits.
Friday against the Hixson Wildcats, Conor Hale tossed Cleveland's second consecutive no-hitter in a 17-0 win. Conor got two Ks and walked no Wildcats.
Derek Shugart and Reed Allison both smacked doubles for the Blue Raiders in another 10-hit effort.
The outings by Wyrick and Hale were the first-ever back-to-back no-hitters for Cleveland.
In Saturday's first game against South Pittsburgh, Jesse Jones climbed the hill and walked off with a 17-6 win over the Pirates. The Cleveland seniors gave up eight hits to the Pirates and walked five. Hiddleson and Hale helped do the damage with doubles.
In the Saturday finale, Eric Powers worked off the hill for Cleveland on a cloudless but windy afternoon. Powers went the distance for the Raiders, who only could scratch out two hits after five innings of play. Carson's team ended the day with ?? hits.
The Blue Raiders had a chance to jump on top early with Murray and Jones reaching on an error and single. Both were left stranded.
“We had some good at bats. We just hit the ball right at them,” Carson said.
The Pounders picked up two runs in the bottom of the second in Saturday’s game, capitalizing on a Cleveland error.
Chattanooga Central added one more in the fourth on a walk and two singles.
The Raiders closed the gap in the top of the sixth after Shugart doubled to left field with two outs. He scored one batter later when Jones doubled to right to make the score 3-1.
The Pounders tacked on an insurance run in the bottom half of the inning on a double in front of a Cleveland error, the third miscue of the game for the Blue Raiders.
The lone run was all Cleveland could manufacture as Davis shut the Raiders down in order in the seventh.
“I'm pleased with our kids. They are starting to gel and come around a little bit. We're moving some guys around in the lineup, experimenting and giving some guys playing time. Hopefully, we'll come out tomorrow and be rested and ready to go,” Carson stated.
PURPLE POUNDERS 3
BLUE RAIDERS 1
Cleveland 000 010 0 — 1 5 3
Chattanooga Central 020 100 X — 4 7 2
WP: Brandon Davis. LP: Eric Powers. Derek Murray, Jesse Jones (C); Stanser Morgan (CC). Records: Cleveland 8-5.