OOLTEWAH — It was a hit-fest of a different sort when Bradley Central went seven rounds with Soddy-Daisy in Saturday’s continuation of the District 5-AAA baseball tournament at Ooltewah High School in a matchup Bears coach Travis Adams said felt more like a boxing match than a high school baseball game.
A total of seven Bears and Trojans took one for the team in the 6-4 Bradley Central win. When it counted, the Bears got the hits needed from the batter’s box, solid pitching from Brett Standifer and relievers Seth Lee and Chandler Hamilton who got the win in relief.
“That was a great win. It kind of felt like a boxing match going back and forth like that. I’m glad we were the home team,” said a pleased and relieved Adams. “We had some people get plunked and I know it hurt, but they got on base and it was the difference in the game,”
The Bears will face East Hamilton tonight at 7 p.m. with a Region 3 tournament berth on the line.
Bradley Central scored first on an unearned run in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs in the books, two walks by Soddy and two hit batters put the Bears on top 1-0.
The Trojans came back in the upper half of the third to take a 3-1 lead on a walk, hit batter and back-to-back singles.
The Bears took advantage of a Hunter Rogers single, Tanner Cox double, two walks and another hit batter to tie the game 3-3. Cal Pickel and Caleb Pace got the RBIs for Bradley after working Soddy pitching for a pair of walks.
The Trojans answered with an unearned in the fourth to ease out front 4-3.
Adams pulled Standifer in favor of set-up man Lee with one out in the top of the fifth. The Bears’ second pitcher of the afternoon got fly balls to left and center to hold Soddy scoreless.
The Bears tied the game again in their half of the inning.
Tyler Lynn led off with a single to left, stood on second after a Cox sacrifice and hustled to third on a wild pitch. Austin Calfee lifted a sacrifice fly to center to make it a 4-4 game.
Hamilton and company put the game on ice in the sixth.
Baylor Terrell started off for the Bears with a walk and Jacob Barnes took one for the team to put Bears on first and second with no outs. After a sacrifice by Hunter Rogers, Terrell scored on what would be a game winning Logan Blackwell single. Lynn made it 6-4 on a sacrifice that brought Barnes home.
“We did more things right, I guess than they did and had some timely hitting. Even the guys that sacrificed and the other guys getting on, that was big for us,”Adams said.
Hamilton, who took over for Lee with two outs in the top of the sixth, got the win getting the Trojans out in order after giving up a lead-off single.
“Sometimes you get into your twos and threes pitching and they get hit a little bit more. Brett gave us a chance to win with a quality start and Seth came in and did his job as a set up guy and Chandler shut the door,” said a pleased Adams.
The victory over the Trojans keeps the Bears alive and well with a solid shot at a district championship. Adams said the Bears have shaken off the rust from their extended time off and are ready to go.
“We didn’t really kick around. We played a pretty tight game. This time of year that’s exactly what you want. We’re feeling a lot better (with the win) after the long layoff. We haven’t played since Tuesday before last night (Friday). I was worried about that. But it’s warmed up and we’ve got a couple of games under our belts and nerves are kind of out of the picture now,” said the Bears coach.
“We’re in good shape but it’s nowhere near over. We’ve just got to stay focused and keep grinding.”
Bradley Central opened their District 5-AAA tournament by downing McMinn County 10-5 Friday afternoon. The Bears exploded for eight runs in the fifth inning, capitalizing on three extra base hits and one huge error by the Cherokees.
McMinn County got on the board first, scoring a run in the third inning. Colby Eaton reached base after two outs on a Bear fielding miscue. Hayden Fesmire followed with a solid double to right center driving in Eaton with the games first run. The Bears tied the game in the fourth, as Logan Blackwell took advantage of the first of two throwing errors by the Cherokees third baseman. Tyler Carpenter followed with a single, before Senior Jordan Timmons delivered his second of three hits in the contest to plate Blackwell.
The Cherokees regained the lead in top half of the fifth when Eaton doubled, and scored on the third Bear error of the game on a ball off the bat of Fesmire.
The Bears broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth after two outs. Senior Baylor Terrell coaxed a walk, took second on a wild pitch. Jacob Barnes reached base on the second throwing error by the Cherokee third baseman with Terrell scoring on the play. Hunter Rogers then put the Bears in the lead with a long home run over the left centerfield wall. Blackwell drew a pass from the rattled Cherokee hurler, and scored a moment later on double off the bat of Junior Tanner Cox. Timmons chased Cox home with the fifth run of the inning with a base hit. Bradley then loaded the bases on a free pass to Chandler Duggan, before Cal Pickel was plunked by a pitch. Senior Caleb Pace put the game out of reach with a bases clearing triple over the head of the Cherokee centerfielder.
The Cherokees rallied for three runs in the sixth on a lead-off double by Javan Simpson, a single by Drew Godsby, and an infield out by Corey Edgemon. Bradley tacked on a run in the bottom of the sixth with Blackwell scoring his third run of the game following a walk and the second double of the game by Cox.
Junior Ty King picked up his sixth win of the season by going five innings, giving up three hits. Both the runs King gave up were unearned.
"Ty wasn't as sharp today as he has been. The ten-day lay off since his last start left him a little rusty. Still just giving up three hits and no earned runs was a solid effort. Our defense has to get better, we can't commit three errors this time of year and expect to advance," said Coach Travis Adams.
Note: Information on Friday’s game was provided by Chip Chavis.
BEARS 8, CHEROKEES 5
McMinn County 001 013 0 — 5 6 2
Bradley 000 181 x — 10 8 3
WP: Ty King (6-0) 5 inn 3 H ,5 K, 0 ER. LP: Jake Lingerfelt
HR: Hunter Rogers (BC). 3B: Caleb Pace (BC). 2B: Tanner Cox 2 (BC); Hayden Fesmire, Colby Eaton, Javan Simpson (MC). Highlights: Jordan Timmons 3-3 2 RBI, Cox 2-2 run 2 RBI, Pace 1-3 3 RBI, Rogers 1-4 run 2 RBI, Blackwell 3 run (BC); Colby Eaton 2-4 2 runs, Drew Godsby 1-2 run RBI Simpson 1-2 run, Fesmire 1-3 RBI (MC). Records: McMinn County 11-17, Bradley 18-11.
BEARS 6, TROJANS 4
Bradley Central 012 012 x — 6 5 2
WP: Chandler Hamilton (5-2). LP: Gavin Rogers. 2B: Dillon Clift (SD); Jacob Barnes, Tanner Cox (BC). Highlights: Rogers 2-4 run RBI, Andy Wright 1-3 RBI, Clift 1-3 run, Austin Hickey 1-3 run (SD; Hunter Rogers 1-2 run, Logan Blackwell 1-4 RBI, Tyler Lynn 1-1 RBI, Tanner Cox 1-3 run, Barnes 1-3 run (BC). Records: Soddy-Daisy 17-15; Bradley Central 19-11.