After defeating Rhea County by a 7-2 score Monday and having to wait an extra day to play the home and-home finale, the Bears and Eagles combined for 33 runs, 26 hits and 13 errors last night.
When all was said and done Bradley came back across the Tennessee River with a 23-10 victory.
The Bears will now prepare to be a host site for the Athletic Shop Trojan Classic 2012, which begins play this evening.
Bradley is slated to face crosstown rival Cleveland High at 7 tonight at the McKenzie Baseball Complex before turning around to entertain Covington Christian Academy (Ga.) at 4:30 Friday and Knox Gibbs at 6. The Blue Raiders will travel to Chattanooga Central at 4 Friday before racing back to BCHS to face Gibbs at 8:45.
Matchup and playoff games are slated for Saturday at the event’s five locations — Soddy-Daisy, Red Bank, Ooltewah, Chattanooga Central and Bradley.
The Bears (14-10-1, 4-6 District 5-AAA) jumped out to a quick 3-0 advantage in the top of the first Wednesday evening, but Rhea County (9-13, 3-9) answered with a pair in its first at bat.
After a scoreless second inning, Bradley exploded for a 6-spot in the top of the third, but once again the Eagles answered with a run in the bottom of the frame and four more in the fourth to pull within a pair.
Bradley players rounded the bases six more times in the top of the fifth and even though Rhea once again responded with a trio of runs, the Bears put the game away in the top of the sixth with an eighth-run rally capped by junior Caleb Pippenger’s second home run of the season.
A half dozen Bears finished with multiple-hit games, plus seven scored two or more times as the Black-and-Gold took advantage of 14 hits, seven Eagle errors and 14 free passes to post their highest run total in more than a decade.
Senior Phillip Wiseman led the Bradley hit parade, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and being hit by a pitch. He also drove in three runs and scored a trio of runs.
Sophomore Baylor Terrell brought home four teammates while going 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI-sac fly, while scoring twice.
Pippenger reached base five times with a single, two walks and was hit by a pitch to go with his solo blast. He also accounted for four runs scored and drove home two.
Junior Jacob Fowler made up for missing Monday’s game while ill with a pair of singles, a walk, three “ribbees” and he scored twice.
Senior Robbie Works continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-4 with a walk, three runs scored, plus he plated a teammate.
Junior Jacob Maynard helped out with a pair of hits and a base on balls, leading to three RBIs and he scored twice.
Moving into the leadoff spot due to an injury, senior Dylan Johnston scored all three times he reached base with a single, walk and being plunked.
Despite giving up eight hits and four earned runs, junior Nate Mills upped his pitching record to 4-1 with four strikeouts and just one walk in 3 1/3 innings on the hill.
BEARS 23, EAGLES 10
Bradley Central 306 068 — 23 14 6
Rhea County 201 430 — 10 12 7
WP: Nate Mills (4-1) 3.1 IP, 4 Ks, 8 H, 1 BB, 4 ER. LP: Brent Smith 3 IP, 2 K, 10 H, 2 BB, 5 ER. HR: Caleb Pippenger (2). 3B: Jacob York, Will Clark (RC). 2B: Jacob Green (RC); Chase Wiseman, Jacob Maynard (BC). RBIs: Green 3, Hunter McClendon 3, Brent Smith (RC); Baylor Terrell 4, Jacob Fowler 3, Wiseman 3, Maynard 3, Robbie Works, Cal Pickel (BC). Highlights: Wiseman 3-for-4, BB, HBP, 3 RBI, 3 r; Pippenger 2-for-3, 2 BB, HBP, HR, 2 RBI, 4 r; Terrell 2-for-3, BB, 4 RBI, 2 r; Maynard 2-for-4, 2b, BB, 3 RBI, 2 r. Records: Rhea County 9-13, 3-9 District 5-AAA; Bradley Central 14-10-1, 4-6 District 5-AAA.