Bulldogs squeak by Moore County

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Cornersville Bulldogs notched their second straight win Monday night by defeating District foe Moore County 2-1 in their impromptu home opener behind a gutsy performance from starting pitcher Lucas Laster.

The game had originally been scheduled to be played at Lynchburg, but Moore County's field was still saturated from heavy rains over the weekend so the contest was moved to Cornersville.

Despite leaving the bases loaded three times, the Bulldogs held a 2-0 lead through the first six innings of play before stamping out a Raider uprising in the top of the seventh to hold on for the one-run victory.

"Considering the conditions and the fact that our kids had to get the field ready at the last minute, I think we played pretty well. We had some opportunities to break the game open, but we didn't take advantage of them," said Adcox.

Although he issued eight walks, Laster overpowered Moore County's lineup for much of the night and worked out of trouble on several occasions to capture his first win of the season. The sophomore lefthander racked up 14 strikeouts and yielded just one hit in seven innings of work, while the Raiders left seven runners in scoring position.

"In Lucas, Aaron Crowell, and Mikey Adams, we've got some young pitchers that can come in and pick up the load that Tyler Cole used to carry for us," said Cornersville coach Brent Adcox. "I never felt like Lucas was wearing down because when he missed, he missed close. He was actually picking up velocity as the game went on. Even when he was in those jams, I didn't think he was in trouble."

The Bulldogs (2-1, 2-1 District), meanwhile, drew six walks and had two hit batsmen, but mustered only four hits against Moore County hurlers George Garner and Taylor Montgomery. As a result, CHS stranded 10 men on base, while the Raiders threw out two other Cornersville runners at third.

Catcher Mark Lane accounted for half of Cornersville's hits, going 2-3 with a double and a walk, while Laster added a RBI single and a walk. P.J. Allen also singled for the Bulldogs and Adams had a RBI fielder's choice.

After CHS left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, Moore County stranded two runners in scoring position in the top of the second and fourth innings.

Cornersville finally broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth by pushing across a run on a hit, a walk, and a hit batsman to grab a 1-0 lead. Following a leadoff walk by John Brewer, Garner plunked Chase Bassham with a 1-1 pitch to put runners on first and second with one out. Brewer and Bassham then advanced 90-feet on a sacrifice bunt by Crowell, before Laster plated Brewer with a sharp single into right field.

In the fifth, the Raiders loaded the bases with two outs thanks to a Cornersville error, a hit batter, and a walk, but Laster fanned Roger Howell to escape the inning unscathed.

The Bulldogs then tallied another run in the bottom of the fifth to stretch their lead to 2-0 when Stephen Dalton scored on an Adams groundball after drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to third on a double by Lane.

Cornersville had a chance to tack on some insurance runs in the sixth, but once again left the bases loaded before the Raiders put runners on second and third with no outs in the seventh thanks to a walk and a CHS throwing error. Moore County then cut the deficit to 2-1 on a RBI groundout by Montgomery, but Laster bore down and struck out the next two Raider batters to preserve the Bulldog victory.