The Columbia Academy Bulldogs (16-4, 8-2), winners of nine out of their last ten ballgames, loaded the big red school bus and came to Cornersville Friday afternoon with intentions of sweeping the regular season series and keeping a one game lead over Culleoka and Huntland in District 11-A.
Cornersville (8-13, 3-7) has played hard the entire season but has suffered from the injury bug that has limited their effectiveness. Tyler Cole, the Bulldog ace hurler has come down with mononucleosis and will in all likelihood be gone for the rest of the season.
nicely for Cole
In an adverse situation, Cornersville coach Brent Adcox has found another hurler to step up and give the team the type of quality starts needed to make a run in the district tournament. Sophomore Chuck Bassham has pitched well for the Bulldogs of late and gave the team another great performance versus Columbia Academy.
"I am very proud of Chuck," Adcox said, "He has pitched two great back to back games, today and versus Moore County. He has really stepped up to fill in for Tyler Cole and has done great."
Bassham threw a complete game, gave up just three earned runs, struck out six, and did not walk a batter, but it was not good enough as the Dawgs lost 6-3.
Cornersville started the game by spotting Columbia two runs in the first inning on some sloppy play and then gave up another run in the second to go down three-zip.
Cornersville came back in the third as Logan "Pablo" Lovvorn drilled a leadoff double in the left field gap and was immediately knocked home by Josh King's RBI single to left. Eric King reached on an error to put runners on first and third and Corey Allen bashed an RBI single up the middle to make it 3-2. Columbia Academy pitcher Kerry Workman escaped the inning by whiffing the last two Cornersville batters.
The game moved on to the fifth inning and it looked like Bassham would get out unscathed after shortstop Erik King made a circus play, going to his left to snag a ball up the middle, wheel around and fire the runner out at first. The next hitter, John Dickey got ahead of Bassham in the count and laced a fastball over the left field fence to make it 4-2.
Dawgs never say die
Dickey's long homerun would have taken the life out of many teams, but not the Bulldogs as they came back again, scoring a run in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Basham to make it 4-3.
Columbia Academy mustered up single runs in the sixth and seventh and Workman did some of his best work in the final two frames as Cornersville could not figure him out and lost 6-3.
With just three regular season game left for Cornersville, Adcox is looking to get his team ready for the District Tournament and not get caught in a play in game. Moore County is one game up at 4-7 on the Dawgs with a district game left versus Culleoka, while Cornersville is 3-6 with two district games left versus Huntland and Hampshire.
"The team is ready for the tournament," Adcox stated, "We feel good about it, but we are not sure where we will be seeded until after next week."