HARRISON — After waiting an extra day for a shot at exacting some revenge against Chattanooga Central, Cleveland got its chance when the weather broke sunny and cloudless Friday evening. The Blue Raiders took to the field for the second game of a two-game out of district set with the Purple Pounders only to find out the red-hot bats they enjoyed earlier had turned ice cold.
The Blue Raiders (10-10, 4-2 District 5-AAA) produced only two hits in the 10-0, five inning, game while the Purple Pounders (15-5, 8-0 District 5-AA) pounded out 12 against three Cleveland pitchers.
"We're incognito I guess. The way we're playing now is nothing like we played Monday or Tuesday," said Cleveland coach Ted Carson referring to the Blue Raiders' district sweep of Walker Valley. "We are not having a good approach at the plate at all like we did. We've just got to get back on track right now going into our district games."
Chattanooga Central jumped on Cleveland starter Mike Powers and the Blue Raiders for four runs on four hits in the first, and the Pounders went on to win the non-district baseball game 10-0 in five innings.
Cleveland tried to bounce back in the top of the second with one out singles from Powers and Reed Allison. Both runners advanced on a ground ball to the right side but were left stranded after a strikeout ended the inning.
A pounder double and Cleveland throwing error to third put Chattanooga Central on top 5-0 after three full innings of play.
Raider reliever Nick Miller came on in the lower portion of the fourth. The right-handed submariner got no respect from the Pounders who took a 7-0 lead after touching the junior hurler for two runs on two hits and a second Cleveland throwing error.
"We've got to do better than that to even be in the games with Ooltewah, or we will have the same results. They are a good team," said Carson.
The Pounders played small ball to get a runner to second with a sacrifice bunt. The Raiders helped out with another bad throw to third that made it 8-0. A Central double sent Carson to the mound pulling Miller in favor of Austin Dykes in a last ditch effort to keep the game alive.
With runners on second and third and only one out, Dykes faced an uphill battle. The pitching change lasted only two batters after the Pounders ended the night with a walk, loaded the bases and made a wild pitch that scored the 10th and final run.
"We didn't play well at all, but you've got to give Central credit. They threw two good pitchers at us (in the series), but we are better hitters than that," said the Cleveland coach.
"We had a break yesterday (Thursday due to rain), and we have played 10 games in seven days. We haven't been on the (practice) field in about two weeks. We've either been playing or had a day off. So, we will have some field work and see what we can do from there."
Cleveland 000 00 — 0 2 3
Chattanooga Central 401 23 — 10 12 1
WP: Tristan Wood; LP: Eric Powers. 2B: Wood (CC). Other highlights: Colton Morgan 3-3, Wood 2-3 (CC). Records: Cleveland 10-10; Chattanooga Central 15-5.