“Our pitchers did great only allowing four hits, but more impressive was the fact there was only one walk. In these early games of the season, walks can kill you, but my guys threw strikes all day,” said A’s coach Billy Massingale. “On the offensive side of the house, walks got us plenty of base runners. we had nine batters walk and two hit by pitches. Combine that with some timely base hits from lead-off batter and walker valley standout Dalton Montgomery, Tyler Hogan and former Cleveland State star Brad weir — who had four RBIs in game one — and we put up two runs in the first and four in the second. That would be all we needed as our Pitchers closed the door.”
After a brief rain delay, game two had the same formula with good pitching and timely hitting. Former Bradley and Cleveland State standout Tanner Thompson threw an almost a perfect game giving up only one hit in five innings while striking out 11 of the 16 batters he faced.
“His fast ball was moving and smacking the mitt hard,” said the A’s coach.
Massingale came the last two innings giving up the lone run of the day on an error and a base hit, but recovered nicely striking out five in the last two innings.
“It was almost unfair after facing a mid 80s fastball for me to come in and throw nothing but off speed stuff. Between the two of us we had their timing all mixed up.,” he said.
Offensively, the lower part of the order came alive. Brad weir continued to hit the ball hard with four singles and a two-run bomb over the center-field fence to add two more RBIs to his day’s total of six. Former Bradley Bear Tyler Cross was 2-4, with an RBI. Steve Currie also doubled in the 7-1 win for the A’s
“Over all we were just happy to get in some baseball with two straight weekends of rain outs. If our pitching stays as solid as it was Saturday, we will improve on our fourth-place finish from last year. We play the East Chattanooga Pirates Sunday at Ooltewah Recreation Field,” said Massingale.