The game was scheduled Tuesday in Crossville, but switched to Walker Valley when the Cumberland County fence was blown down by the severe storm which swept across the state Monday night.
The longtime rivals are playing only the single game this year, since Cumberland County has been moved out of District 5-AAA to the mid-state area. Coach Joe Shamblin had to make room for 5-AAA newcomers Soddy-Daisy and Ooltewah in the Mustangs’ schedule this year.
It appeared Walker Valley was going to win Tuesday’s game with very little offense, leading 5-2 after five innings with only two hits. The Jets scored two runs in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 5-4, but the Mustangs’ offense woke up in the bottom of the inning with six hits and six additional runs.
Walker Valley’s Bobby Towne pitched an outstanding game for the Mustangs. He recorded 12 strikeouts and had only a single walk in his six innings of work.
Logan Hindman came in in the top of the seventh in relief of Towne, setting down the Jets in order despite allowing the first hitter to reach first on an error when Hindman tripped over the first-base bag. The Mustangs then got the runner out when he slipped off base on a following strikeout.
“Bobby pitched a great game,” said coach Shamblin after the game. “He stayed in control throughout.”
The Mustangs got a little revenge against Cumberland County pitcher Cole Vanhorn, who has been difficult for Walker Valley in games past. The junior left-hander got seven strikeouts in his five innings of work, but did not have good control, with eight walks.
Vanhorn’s erratic pitching gave the Mustangs the lead in the early innings ... without hits.
The Jets went ahead in the first inning when John Sanders and John Bilbrey had back-to-back singles for a run.
The Mustangs bounced right back with a matching run in the bottom of the opening frame, getting the run without benefit of a hit. Walker Valley took the lead in the bottom of the second with two runs after three consecutive walks ... but the Mustangs were still without a hit.
Senior Brandon Zajac collected Walker Valley’s first hit for an RBI in the bottom of the third. He was later erased for a third out in a rundown between third and home.
Cumberland County got a second run in the top of the fourth on singles by Bo Davis and Andrew Daugherty.
The Mustangs increased their lead in the fifth with a walk to Logan Longwith and another RBI single by Chris Caffrey.
The Jets pulled close in the top of the fifth with two runs. Taylor Houston walked, Bilbrey got another hit and Daugherty brought both runners home with a double into the right-field corner.
Walker Valley finally came alive at the plate in the top of the sixth with six runs. Cody Suttles opened the inning with a double, Caleb Longley followed with a single, Colton Ward walked, Hayes Hooper singled, Longwith walked, Towne helped his cause with a single, Caffrey doubled and Zajac collected his second single of the game.
Hindman came to the mound in the seventh and shut out the Jets to clinch the non-district victory.
MUSTANGS 11, JETS 3
Cumberland County 100 102 0 — 4 6 3
Walker Valley 121 016 X — 11 8 0