Second-seeded Ooltewah got a 12-strikeout, two-hit performance from junior Zach Thompson to get past No. 3 Soddy-Daisy 5-1 in the night’s opening contest.
The victory advances the Owls (21-11) to tonight’s second round where they will face host Bradley Central (22-12) at 6:15. Ooltewah swept the Bears during the regular season home-and-home by a combined 12-6 tally.
This afternoon’s action will begin at 4 p.m. with the continuation of last night’s elimination contest between McMinn County and Rhea County. The Cherokees and Eagles only got two outs into the game before the rains came, forcing an extra contest onto tonight’s slate.
The nightcap this evening will be between top-seeded Walker Valley (21-8) and No. 5 Cleveland (13-17), which defeated Rhea County 4-2 in Wednesday’s opening round.
The action will continue with three more games on tap for Saturday.
The McMinn/Rhea winner will face Soddy-Daisy (17-16) at 1 p.m. in an elimination contest, while the Bradley/Ooltewah and Walker Valley/Cleveland losers will tangle at 4 for the right to continue their season.
Saturday’s highlight game will start at 7 with the Bradley/Ooltewah and Walker Valley/Cleveland winners battling in the winner’s bracket final with a Region 3-AAA Tournament berth on the line, plus a spot in the district championship game.
The tournament will resume Monday with Saturday’s first two winners playing at 7 for the right to advance to Tuesday’s loser’s bracket final, where the other region tournament berth will be up for grabs.
Ooltewah’s Thompson gave up just a single in the opening inning and a triple by Austin Hickey in the sixth, which led to the Trojans’ lone run.
The Owls pounded out eight hits with Tennessee signee Kevin Dupree going 3-for-3, including a double, plus he drove in a run and scored another. Drew Toth went 2-for-3 at the dish, while Drew Williams had a single and a double for the victors. T.J. Binder roped a triple and drove in a run.
Ooltewah scored two runs in the first and sixth frames, plus a solo run in the second.