After a couple of good victories to begin with, Bradley Central’s baseball weekend ended on a sour note Saturday.
As a co-host of the Ooltewah Invitational, the Bears defeated Bearden 5-0 Thursday and Jackson North Side 10-3 late Friday night, but after their first game Saturday got cancelled when Franklin County couldn’t return, Sycamore took advantage of four errors to stop Bradley 7-3 in the Bear finale.
Now 6-3 on the season and 3-1 in District 5-AAA play, Bradley faces Soddy-Daisy (4-3, 3-1) in a district home-and-home series Monday and Tuesday. The teams will open at the McKenzie Baseball Complex before battling in northern Hamilton County Tuesday.
The Bears will travel to Murfreesboro Thursday to play in the Warrior Classic.
Bradley will take on Jackson Christian Thursday at 3:30, Sparkman, Ala., and Smyrna Friday at 6:30 and 9 p.m., before battling Mt. Juliet Saturday at noon.
Bears 10, Indians 3
Bradley found itself down twice early Friday evening, but rallied to score in five straight innings to pull away from the West Tennessee visitors.
After Jackson North Side opened the contest by scoring on the first of four Bear errors, the hosts evened the score in the bottom of the second when Tanner Cox ripped a one-out hit, moved up to second on a wild pitch, beat a throw to third on a fielder’s choice and came home on an errant pick off attempt.
The Indians retook the lead in the top of the third with a pair of runs, but Bear hurler Brandon Thompson ended the rally with three straight strikeouts.
Bradley evened the score in the bottom of the frame when Baylor Terrell roped a leadoff single, and went to second on another throwing error on a pickoff play. Jacob Barnes singled to put runners on the corners. Brett Standifer dropped down a bunt to score Terrell and push Barnes to second before sophomore Kyler Lynn was hit by a pitch and Cox plated Barnes with a single.
The Bears took the lead for good when Cal Pickel was plunked to lead off the bottom of the fourth, moved to second on a single by Caleb Pace, stole third and scored on one of five Indian errors. Barnes helped out with a two-out double before Standifer laced a RBI-hit and Hunter Rogers roped a run-scoring double.
Bradley picked up three more runs in its next at bat with doubles by Tyler Carpenter and Logan Blackwell, which scored Carpenter. Pickel followed with a single before Pace lifted a sac fly to plate Blackwell. Pickel scored on a wild pitch.
The final Bear run came in the bottom of the sixth when Carpenter smoked a two-out double and Blackwell brought him home with a single.
Thompson earned his first pitching victory of the season by going five innings, striking out four, scattering four hits and not allowing an earned run.
War Eagles 7, Bears 3
Both teams scored a run in the opening inning and two more in the third, but the boys from Middle Tennessee exploded for four more in the fourth to make the difference in the game.
After a single, a pair of walks and a wild pitch led to the first Sycamore run in the opening at bat. Bradley answered in the bottom of the frame when Pace singled, moved to second on a ground out, to third on an unsuccessful fielder’s choice and scored on a grounder by Carpenter.
The second of four Bear errors led to a couple of War Eagle runs in the third inning, but once again the hosts responded immediately. Pace beat out an infield hit, stole second, then after a two-out walk to Standifer, the pair moved up on a wild pitch. Carpenter then came through with a single to plate Pace and Standifer scored on an error.
The game deciding runs came in the top of the fourth when Sycamore got a leadoff single, a two-out hit, a walk and a very strange triple.
After the two-out single brought in the leadoff hitter, a free pass put visitors on first and second. Robert Newton then launched a shot deep into the left-center field gap that Bear center fielder Cal Pickel tracked down, but ran into the wall at the same time he gloved the ball. Despite him holding the ball up with his bare hand, the umpire signaled no catch and the runners continued to circle the bases. Pickel fired the ball to try to get Newton at third base, but the ball sailed into the War Eagle dugout, awarding him home with the game’s final run.
Despite getting two base runners on in both the fourth and fifth frames, plus loading the bases in the sixth, the Bears couldn’t get anyone else home and the game was called due to the time limit after six frames.
Jackson North Side 102 000 0 — 3 7 5
Bradley Central 012 331 x — 10 15 1
WP: Brandon Thompson (1-0) 5 IP, 4 Ks, 4 hits, 0 ER; LP: Del Vaughn (1-1). 3B: Jay Epperson (NS). 2B: Nigel Waller (NS); Tyler Carpenter 2, Jacob Barnes, Logan Blackwell, Hunter Rogers (BC); RBI: Jay Epperson, Waller (NS); Blackwell 2, Brett Standifer 2, Tanner Cox, Caleb Pace, Rogers (BC). Highlights: Epperson 1-4, 3B, run, RBI; Waller 2-4, 2B, RBI, run (NS); Barnes 3-3, 2B, 2 runs; Cox 2-2, RBI, run; Carpenter 2-2, 2 2B, 2 runs; Blackwell 2-2, 2B, 2 RBI, run, Cal Pickel 1-3, 2 runs; Baylor Terrell 1-3, run, Rogers 1-4, 2B, RBI (BC). Records: Jackson North Side 4-4; Bradley Central 6-2.
Sycamore 102 400 — 7 7 2
Bradley Central 102 000 — 3 6 4
WP: Matt Brown (2-0) 4 IP, 4 Ks, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 4 hits, 2 ER; LP: Austin Calfee (0-2) 4 IP, 3 Ks,2 BB, 6 hits, 2 ER. 3B: Robert Newton (S). 2B: Brett Standifer (BC). RBI: Newton 2, Matt Brown (S); Tyler Carpenter 2 RBI (BC). Highlights: Michael Brown 2-2, 2 BB, 2 runs; Matt Brown 2-3, BB, RBI, 3 runs; Newman 1-3, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, run (S); Tyler Carpenter 2-3, 2 RBI; Caleb Pace 2-4, SB, 2 runs; Standifer 1-2, 2B, 2 BB, run; Tanner Cox 1-2 (BC). Records: Sycamore 8-1-1; Bradley Central 6-3.