HARRISON — Cleveland’s Raiders hit the road to kick off some spring break baseball action at Chattanooga Central, competing in the Pounder Classic.
The Raiders faced off against a Bronchoes team visiting from Lafayette, Ind. Cleveland was able to capitalize on some early Lafayette errors and timely hitting, to charge away with a big 10-3 win.
“We did a better job today. We hit the ball well, hit some hard ones right at them. I was happy with that. Jake Moats did a fine job on defense today and Colin Tippit came in the game in relief and did a really good job there to get the win,” stated Cleveland head coach Ted Carson.
It was a good start for the boys from CHS. Tyler Shugart got things started when he reached safely on an error, Robert Parr followed with a double and Jesse Jones laced an RBI single to give the Raiders an early lead.
The momentum was short lived however, as the Bronchoes brought big bats to the bottom of the opening frame.
After a leadoff walk Lafayette’s third batter made Cleveland pay with a two-run bomb. That performance was followed two batters later with a solo shot to put the Bronchoes up 3-1.
Things seemingly went from bad to worse when Cleveland’s starter, Conor Hale, was forced to leave the game when his wrist began acting up. However, Tippit entered the game in relief and was very solid for Cleveland, going five strong innings, striking out five batters and only allowing one hit.
“Conor did something to his wrist. He just wasn’t himself. He wasn’t throwing what we knew he could throw, so we took him out. Hopefully a day or two of rest and he will be ready to go,” explained Carson.
Raider bats came to life to start the third, and like the first inning a Bronchoes’ error opened the door for Cleveland to take the lead.
Parr led off when he reached safely on a Lafayette throwing error. Jones followed suit with the exact same thing. Jake Wyrick got the first hit of the inning to load the bases with a single.
Moats took the ball for a ride, delivering with an RBI sacrifice fly. Jackson Earle capitalized on the third Bronchoes error of the inning, reaching safely while another CHS run crossed the plate, and Nick Miller rounded things out with a two RBI double that put the Raiders back on top 5-3.
All five of Cleveland’s runs came across unearned on a combined four Lafayette errors and five timely hits, but in the Bronchoes’ defense, almost all the errors were committed as a result of hard-hit line drive balls.
The Raiders pushed across their first earned run in the fifth when Jackson Earle kicked off the inning the hard way, taking a pitch in the back for a free pass.
Lafayette went to the bullpen at that point, and things began to fall apart for the squad from Indiana.
Four straight walks led to RBIs for Shugart and Parr, Jones followed with an RBI sac fly and Wyrick capped the inning with a 2-RBI single to bring the score to its final of 10-3.
Taylor Thompson came in to close the game for the Raiders and found himself in a little bit of a late jam as he struggled momentarily with some control issues. However, after a single and two straight walks he was able to record the third out for the Cleveland win.
“They had a few miscues that helped the momentum shift back to us a little. They also walked quite a few of our guys. Once we got the lead we relaxed and were able to play better,” Carson said.
The Raiders will be back at it this afternoon as they take on Morristown at 4 p.m. and Hixson at 6:15 with both game taking place at Hixson.
RAIDERS 10, BRONCHOES 3
Cleveland 104 050 0 — 10 6 1
Lafayette Jeff 300 000 0 — 3 4 5
WP: Colin Tippit 5 IP, 5 Ks, 3 BB, 1 H, 0 ER. LP: Russell 4 IP, 2 Ks, 2 BB, 5 H, 0 ER. HR: Kimerer, Ledman (LJ) 2B: Robert Parr, Kimsey Bell, Nick Miller (CHS). RBI: Jesse Jones 2, Jake Moats, Miller 2, Tyler Shugart, Parr, Jake Wyrick 2 (CHS). Records: Cleveland 6-5.