Cornersville principal Bob Edens was on hand Thursday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the CMS Bulldog's inaugural season and head coach Mike Tatum's squad played the type of inspired ball they have displayed the entire season as they moved to a perfect "10" with a 10-3 victory over Highland Rim Middle School.
"Coaching this team means a lot to me," Tatum said, "We have had great support from Coach Edens, the Booster Club, Coach Ray Stocstill, and the whole Cornersville community."
Laster pitches his way out of first inning jam
Lefty Lucas Laster has started on the mound for the Dawgs in all ten games this season and he has come through in every situation for Coach Tatum. Laster started the ballgame with a strikeout, and then the Highland Rim Hornets scored the game's first run on a Bulldog miscue and four consecutive walks by Laster.
Tatum visited the mound to talk to his talented eighth grader and whatever he said worked as Laster reached back to strikeout the next two batters to escape the inning, giving up just the one run.
Bulldogs answer with two runs
Leadoff hitter Aaron Crowell reached on a walk to start the bottom of the inning, stole second base, and moved to third on a fly ball hit to center by Matthew Begley that was mishandled by the Hornets. Chad Riner drove Crowell home with the tying run on a 6-4 fielder's choice. A double by Laster put runners on second and third, and Joe Stocstill's RBI single up the middle drove home Begley to put the Bulldogs up 2-1.
Laster was the master in the second inning as he set the Hornets down in order with three consecutive strikeouts.
The Bulldogs added another run in their half of the inning as Aaron "3-bagger" Crowell smashed a one out triple to the right field gap and scored on a smoking line-drive down the third base line by Begley.
does the job in
The Bulldog infield was superb in the third inning as second baseman Dillon Bean handled two tough chances and shortstop Crowell charged a slow roller and gunned the ball to Begley for the third out.
The Dawgs did heavy damage to the Hornets in the bottom of the third as they loaded the bases and Crowell answered again with another triple to clear the sacks and a 6-1 hometown lead. Laster helped his cause with an RBI fielder's choice to give the CMS crew a 7-1 lead going into the top of the fourth.
Laster was relived by Crowell to start the inning and the Hornets mustered some offense with a leadoff single by Jackson Wetherington and an inside the park homerun by Shane McCoy to cut the lead to four at 7-3. Crowell would not give up anymore hits or runs the rest of the inning as he reached back and retired the side in order to send the Dawgs to the bottom of the fourth.
Crowell-Begley duo lethal at the plate and in field
Aaron Crowell and Matthew Begley have been a lethal duo the entire season for CMS and they came through again in the fifth inning. Mikey Adams led off the frame with a double in the right field gap and Taylor Rodgers made it first and second when he was plunked for the second time in the game. Crowell laced an RBI single to right that scored Adams and Begley scorched another double down the left field line to clear the sacks and give the Dawgs a 10-3 lead.
The Crowell-Begley duo finished off the game in the bottom of the inning as the Hornets went down on two 1-3 grounders back to the mound and an unassisted pop-out to Crowell to end the contest.
Asked about the lethal duo after the game, coach Tatum stated," They are both great hitters and our one through five batters have given our pitching staff that kind of offensive support the entire season."
The Dawgs will attempt to cap the perfect first year with games versus Moore County and Liberty next week.