After being outscored 20-2 over a two game period and dropping two consecutive games to District 5-AAA opponent Ooltewah, the young Walker Valley (7-11, 1-6) team needed to put something together to come away with a win Thursday night.
Despite only having a total of five hits, the Mustangs were able to recover from a rough start and defeat Chattanooga Central (10-9) by a score of 5-3.
“We’ve got to get more hits but it’s a win and we’ll take it,” Walker Valley head coach Joe Shamblin stated.
Junior pitcher Kyle Goins, who boosted his record to 3-0 Thursday night, struck out six Pounders while giving up five hits.
“Kyle did a good job of keeping us in the game after we gave up three quick runs in the game. He settled down and started throwing like he can and kept us hanging around until Ben (Clark) got that timely two-out hit that tied things up,” Shamblin explained. “He’s doing a great job throwing strikes and has three pretty good pitches that keep people off balance.”
It was Central who got on the board first, following a two-out bomb to center field by Gabe Fomby for a double which drove Dakota Fowler in.
A quick play to an outstretched Dillan Church at first base got the next Pounder batter out, ending the top of the first.
Central struck again in the top of the second.
With two runners already on base, Andrew McDaniel was walked, creating a bases-loaded situation with only one out.
Fowler was then hit by a pitch, which effectively walked in the Pounders’ second run.
An error gave Central the chance to get another runner in for their third run.
Goins struck out the next Pounder batter and then shortstop Elijah West made a catch to bring the top of the second to a close.
Walker Valley was able to cut its deficit to just two runs in the bottom of the second.
With one out, West took first base after a series of shaky pitches.
Another out, and then West was able to steal second thanks to a wild pitch to Church.
After Church was walked, Brian Oliver hit a hard ground ball to left field, effectively loading up the bases.
Zach Wilcox’s follow-up hit was enough to get him to first and drive in a runner, but the Pounders were still able to close out the inning after getting a courtesy runner out at second.
While Central would be held scoreless for the next five innings, the momentum turned in favor of the home team in the bottom of the fourth.
Once again with her team facing two outs with the bases loaded, Clark was able to knock one deep into center, bringing in two runners.
With things tied up 3-3, the Mustangs were held scoreless in the fifth, but were able to capitalize on a pair of errors made by the visitors.
“We had some circus theatrics there at the end to get a couple runs in, but we’ll take them anyway we can get them,” Shamblin remarked.
Now with a 5-3 lead, Walker Valley was able to quickly bring the top of the seventh to a close to get another win.
As of press time, Coach Shamblin was still planning on hosting Smyrna tonight at 6 and Boyd-Buchanan tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m.
“I don’t know much about them (Smyrna), but I know that the teams coming out of Middle Tennessee are pretty good,” Shamblin stated.
MUSTANGS 5, POUNDERS 3
Chattanooga Central 120 000 0— 3 5 4
Walker Valley 010 202 x — 5 5 2
WP: Kyle Goins (3-0) 6 K’s, 5H, 2 BB. LP: Tyler Hardy. 2B: Ben Clark (WV); Gabe Fomby (CC). Highlights: Ryan Shank 1-3, run; Dylan Church 1-1; Clark 1-1, 2 RBIs; Brian Oliver 1-2; Tucker Mendenhall run; Elijah West run; Andy Towne run; Rob David run (WV); Fomby 2-3, RBI; Scout Morean 1-1, run; Dakota Fowler 1-3, RBI, run (CC). Records: Walker Valley 7-11, 1-6 5-AAA; Chattanooga Central 10-9.