Mustangs solidify second place in district baseball
by By RICHARD ROBERTS Banner Sports Editor
Apr 24, 2013 | 434 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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WALKER VALLEY COURTESY RUNNER Austin Scott gets himself hung up in an intentional rundown that helped score the Mustangs’ Caleb Longley from third in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday, at Mike Turner Field. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
The Walker Valley Mustangs were looking to solidify second place in District 5-AAA baseball Tuesday night with a sweep of the visiting Soddy-Daisy Trojans.

The Mustangs (17-11, 9-3 District 5-AAA) who defeated the Trojans (7-20, 2-10) by a score of 8-3 in Soddy-Daisy took to the field behind starting pitcher Kamren Barnes. Seven innings and a pitching change later, Walker Valley nailed down the second spot behind first-place Ooltewah with a 4-0 win over Soddy-Daisy.

The Walker Valley bats stayed hot Tuesday after a nine hit performance on the road Monday. The Mustangs banged out eight hits to earn the sweep and made no errors in the field against the Trojans.

"I think we are (peaking at the right time). We had eight hits tonight and nine hits last night off two good pitchers. I definitely know we are ahead of where we were a few weeks ago. That's promising," said Walker Valley head coach Joe Shamblin of the hitting streak.

Seven different Mustangs registered hits in the win, but it was a bit of baserunning cunning that put the Mustangs on top 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning.

Caleb Longley reached on the first hit of the game for Walker Valley and moved to third on a single off the bat of John Simmons. Moments later, courtesy runner Austin Scott gave himself up on a delayed steal that allowed Longley to score during the subsequent rundown, giving the Mustangs all the runs they needed this time around.

Four straight singles in the second inning put the Mustangs up 2-0. A fielder's choice made it a 3-0 game with one out and runners on first and third. Chase Prince raced home to put Walker Valley up 4-0 when the throw on a steal attempt rolled into left field.

The Trojans made a bid to put a run on the board in the upper portion of the fifth, advancing a runner to third on a single and wild pitch. The minor uprising took a blow when Walker Valley catcher Josh Poole fired a blistering fastball to Elijah West, picking off the threat. Soddy picked up one more hit before a Barnes strikeout ended the inning.

Simmons pitched himself into a jam in the sixth inning by walking the lead-off batter and giving up a single. The hit prompted a visit from Shamblin who came out in an effort to settle his big righty down. Shamblin was back out to the mound seconds later when a pickoff throw to second rolled into left field, putting Trojans on second and third with no outs. Chase Prince trotted in from right field to take over duties on the hill. The Mustangs' lefty quickly fanned the first two batters he faced and a ground ball to shortstop Bradley Smith put a stop to the inning and preserved the Walker Valley lead.

"We had good pitching and good defense. Chase came in in a jam with runners on second and third with nobody out and got three outs. That was crucial for us. The game may have turned out a little different if he doesn't get that," said Shamblin.

Smith's glove kept the Trojans from reaching base in the seventh with a brilliant move to his right on a low line drive for the catch and the first out of the inning. Prince took matters into his own hands for the next two outs, fanning the final two Soddy batters of the night.

"This locks up second for us, but now it's a whole second season. It's going to be pressure packed. These guys have played a season to get ready for it and we are excited to get on to the second season," Shamblin said.

MUSTANGS 4, TROJANS 0

Soddy-Daisy 000 000 0 — 1 5 2

Walker Valley 130 000 x — 4 8 0

WP: John Simmons. LP: Christian Amos. Other highlights: Gavin Rogers 2-4, Levi Thornton 2-3 (SD); Simmons 2-2 (WV). Records: Soddy-Daisy 7-20; 2-10 District 5-AAA; Walker Valley 17-11, 9-3.