“We were flat. We didn’t play with any emotion,” he stated after the 12-2 route of neighboring Polk County. “We just went through the motions tonight. There was no sense of urgency.”
“I thought this would be a good setup for us going into the (Ooltewah) tournament, with it being a Tuesday game and Jordan (Whitmire, the Bear ace) being able to go, but we didn’t come out with any energy.”
Being one of the co-hosts of this weekend’s event, Bradley (4-3-1) will play at home Thursday evening at 7 against Red Bank before entertaining South Pittsburg at 3:30 Friday afternoon, followed immediately with a game against Upperman.
Polk County (3-2) will also play in the Ooltewah Invitational, facing McMinn County at 5 Thursday evening in Harrison, before returning to Chattanooga Central to face the host Purple Pounders Friday at 5. The Wildcats will face Upperman Saturday at noon at BCHS.
After a scoreless opening inning Tuesday, Bradley put together a two-out rally that started with a Wildcat error and ended with a three-run blast by senior Dylan Johnston.
Senior Robbie Works opened the at bat by beating out an infield hit. After a fly out and Works moving to second on a groundout, senior Corey Loftis hit a grounder that was mishandled and then thrown away, allowing him to get to second and Works to come around with the game’s first run.
With the inning extended, sophomore Cal Pickel got the first of his two hits on the night with a single to plate Loftis. A walk to junior Brently White set the table for Johnston’s shot over the left field wall.
After a scoreless third inning, Polk County got on the scoreboard in the fourth when Matt Hammons led off with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and came around to score on a botched pickoff play.
The Wildcats took advantage of another Bear error in the fifth when an overthrow down the right-field line not only allowed Chris Wimberley to reach base but also not to stop until he slid into third. His brother Collin drove him in a moment later with a groundout to the right side of the infield.
In the home half of the fifth, Bradley took advantage of a half dozen walks and the third Polk error of the night to put up a 7-spot and enforce the “mercy rule.”
White opened the at bat with his second walk and when Johnston, who “left the building” the time before, laid down a sacrifice bunt the throw was mishandled and he was safe at first.
Senior left-hander Chase Wiseman then inside-outed a ball down into short left for a single to plate White before junior Caleb Pippenger rapped his second hit of the evening to bring Johnston around.
After a change on the mound, the first pitch was in the dirt and brought Wiseman in moving courtesy runner Chandler Duggan to third. Pinch hitter Charlie Brown was then plunked before Jacob Fowler drew a one-out walk to load the bases.
Loftis drew an RBI-walk before Pickel smoked a shot just inside the third base bag for a two-run double. After an intentional walk to White, Johnston then drew a free pass to bring in Loftis and end the game early.
Polk County was coming of a 14-8 victory over Sequatchie County Monday evening at Chattanooga’s AT&T Park.
The teams combined for 18 hits, 16 of which were singles, and committed 13 errors.
Collin Wimberley went 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored, while Alex Atkins had a pair of hits and scored three times.
Aldridge went 2-for-4 in the victory. Duncan Coffey had a triple for the Wildcats, but was ejected after running over the catcher, causing him to have to sit out Tuesday’s game against Bradley and Thursday’s contest against McMinn County.
Bradley’s Pippenger and Works were both named to the all-tournament team for their efforts in the Wildcat Classic over the weekend.
BEARS 12, WILDCATS 2
Polk County 000 11 — 2 6 3
Bradley Central 050 07 — 12 7 2
WP: Jordan Whitmire (1-1) 5 IP. 6 Ks, 6 H, 1 BB, 0 ER. LP: Carter Flowers 4 IP, 0 K, 6 H, 3 BB, 4 ER. HR: Dylan Johnston (BC). 2B: Andrew Aldridge, Justin Brown (PC); Cal Pickel (BC). RBIs: Collin Wimberley (PC); Johnston 4, Pickel 3, Caleb Pippenger, Chase Wiseman, Corey Loftis (BC). Highlights: Aldridge 2-for-2 2B (PC); Pickel 2-3 2B, 3 RBIs, Johnston 1-for-1, HR, 2 BB, reached on an error, 2 runs scored, 4 RBI, Pippenger 2-for-3 RBI (BC). Records: Polk County 3-2; Bradley Central 4-3-1.