The Bears left 11 men on base in a 5-1 loss to District 5-AAA regular season champion Soddy-Daisy.
The Trojans improved to 19-11 overall and 9-3 in district play to claim the top spot in next week’s 5-AAA tournament. Soddy-Daisy holds the tie-breaker over Ooltewah, which also finished 9-3 in district play after sweeping McMinn County.
The 5-AAA coaches met for a lunch meeting today to finalize plans for the district tournament, which will begin May 5 at Walker Valley’s Turner Field.
Bradley (10-21, 1-11 District 5-AAA) will tune up for the postseason with a trip to Signal Mountain Friday evening before hosting Chattanooga Central in the regular season finale Tuesday.
With only one 1-2-3 inning, the Bears left the bases loaded twice and two men on a couple of other times after knocking a half dozen hits and drawing seven free passes from Trojan pitchers.
“It all starts with our pitching and defense but when we get that many runners on we need to be able to get them around,” lamented coach Travis Adams after watching his Bears drop their 12th straight game.
The Trojans jumped on top with a pair of runs in the third inning when Talon Harris doubled and Lee University signee James Fowlkes was hit by a pitch, stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch.
Soddy tacked on two more scores in the fifth frame when Hayden Bailey singled home a pair of teammates.
The visitors added an unearned run in the sixth as Fowlkes stroked a two-out single to plate Harris, who had reached on an error.
Bradley picked up just its second run in a 24-inning stretch in the bottom of the sixth when junior Charlie Brown picked up his first varsity RBI.
Sophomore Caleb Pippenger picked up his third hit of the game to open the at bat. After the next batter advanced courtesy runner Matt Cook with a groundout, senior Hayden Robinson beat out an infield hit to put runners on the corners.
The next batter struck out before Brown, who had struck out and walked in his previous at bats, came through with a solid single to plate Cook.
Pippenger had half of the Bear hits with a pair of singles and a double, while Robinson went 2-for-3 on the night.
Bears 11, Trojans 4
Sixteen walks and a pair of hit batsmen by Soddy hurlers helped the JV Bears to an easy 11-4 victory.
Bradley had just five hits to go with the 18 free passes. Jacob Fowlers had two of the safeties, while Logan Blackwell, Cook and Brown each had a hit.
Junior Robbie Works went the distance on the hill for the Bears, striking out five, walking two and scattering four hits while surrendering just one earned run.
Like their varsity counterparts, the JV Bears left the bases loaded in all but one inning.
TROJANS 5, BEARS 1
Soddy-Daisy 002 021 0 — 5 9 0
Bradley Central 000 001 0 — 1 6 1
WP: Brad Dotson (4-1) 4 IP, 6 K, 5 BB, 2 H, 0 ER. LP: Kody Ward 5 IP, 8 Ks, 2 BB, 2 HBP, 6 H, 4 ER. Save: Ryan Johnson 1.1 IP, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 1 H, 0 ER. 2B: Johnson, Daniel Crawley, Talon Harris (SD); Caleb Pippenger (BC). Records: Bradley Central 10-22, 1-11 District 5-AAA; Soddy-Daisy 19-11, 9-3 District 5-AAA.