HIXSON — Despite having to accommodate Mother Nature, the Cleveland High baseball team had a pretty good weekend.
Taking two of three games in the Pounder Classic, coach Ted Carson’s crew edged above .500 for the season at 7-6.
After Friday’s rain pushed the contest back to Saturday afternoon, Cleveland had four pitchers combine on a two-hitter for a 2-1 victory over co-host Hixson.
“We had a no-hitter going into the last inning,” related Carson, whose team dropped a 3-0 decision to Morristown-West in the only game the tournament got in Friday.
“Overall we played pretty good this weekend,” the coach assessed. “We got some good pitching and even though our bats weren’t as good as we would have liked, we got a couple of wins.”
Cleveland opened the annual event with a 10-3 victory over Lafayette, Ind., Thursday evening.
The Raiders took an early lead in Saturday’s finale, putting an unearned run on the board in the second fame and then did the same in the fourth.
Kamren Bell, Tyler Shugart, Jake Wyrick and Koltyn Plumb had the four Cleveland hits in the contest.
On the mound senior Jesse Jones got the start, with sophomore Jake Wyrick coming on to strike out five in the second and third frames.
Sophomore Jackson Earle earned the pitching victory with three perfect innings of work, including a trio of Ks, while classmate Taylor Thompson picked up the save despite giving up a pair of hits and an unearned run in the seventh.
On Friday, the Raiders had to wait out a rain delay before getting in just one of their two scheduled games.
Cleveland got base runners as far as second base in five of the seven innings, but couldn’t get any around to home in the loss to Morristown-West.
“We didn’t get guys over. We didn’t manufacture runs when we needed to,” bemoaned coach Carson.
The Cleveland coach praised the effort of sophomore Conner Mitchell, who pitched his first varsity game. “He did a good job. He threw strikes and worked out of a couple of jams.”
With a pair of 1-2-3 frames, Mitchell faced just 28 batters in the seven-inning contest, inducing seven ground balls outs and a half dozen infield pop-ups, while he gave out just three free passes, struck out one and picked off another.
Meanwhile the Raider bats could manage just three hits off Trojan pitching, with Jake Moats going 2-for-3 and Shugart going 1-for-2, plus drawing a walk and stealing a base.
Cleveland gets back to District 5-AAA play Monday with a short trip to Ooltewah before the same two teams meet at Raider Field Tuesday. The first pitch for each game is slated for 7 p.m.
BLUE RAIDERS 2, WILDCATS 1
Cleveland 010 100 0 — 2 4 3
Hixson 000 000 1 — 1 2 3
WP: Jackson Earle 3 IP, 3 Ks, 0 BB, 0 H, 0 ER. LP: Blane Long. Highlights: Jake Wyrick 2 IP, 5 Ks, 0 H, 0 ER; Tyler Shugart, Kamren Bell, Koltyn Plumb and Wyrick had a hit apiece (C). Records: Cleveland 7-6.
TROJANS 3, BLUE RAIDERS 0
Morristown-West 000 011 1 — 3 7 2
Cleveland 000 000 0 — 0 3 0
WP: Jett Pressley (2-0). LP: Conner Mitchell (0-1). 2B: Austin Bishop, Austin Collins (MW). Highlights: Jake Moats 2-for-3, Tyler Shugart 1-for-2, BB SB (C). Records: Morristown-West 7-3, Cleveland 6-6.