Cornersville sweeps Santa Fe

Friday, March 16, 2012
Cornersville's Dillon Bean slides into third while advancing 90 feet on a Santa Fe throwing error. Photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Bulldogs completed the regular season sweep of Santa Fe on Tuesday when they pulled out a hard fought 5-4 victory on the road to record their 16th straight victory against the Wildcats.

After the two teams battled to a 4-4 tie through the first five innings of play, the Bulldogs took a one-run lead in the top of the sixth thanks to a RBI double by first baseman Mikey Adams before CHS starting pitcher Matt Callender held Santa Fe scoreless over the final two frames.

"It was definitely big to get a win today. It's tough opening the year with two District games so it's always good to get the sweep and not let a win get away," said Cornersville coach Ben Putman.

Despite getting off to a rocky start, Callender went the distance on the mound to earn the victory, as he allowed four runs, only one earned, in seven innings of work on three hits and two walks while racking up nine strikeouts.

"Matt started a little shaky and in the past that might have gotten to him, but he battled today and came through with a clutch performance," said Putman.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, tallied eight hits overall to go along with two walks and five Santa Fe errors. Tyler Lowery (1 RBI) and Zach Richards each registered two hits to pace CHS' offensive attack, while Cody Blackburn added a two-run homer. Adams, Joe Stocstill, and Callender had one hit apiece for Cornersville as well.

The Bulldogs grabbed a quick 2-0 lead when Blackburn clubbed a two-run homer over the centerfield fence in the top of the first inning after Richards singled with two outs.

Santa Fe crossed home plate twice in the bottom of the first on a walk, a hit batsmen, two singles, and a CHS error to tie the game at 2-2, but Cornersville plated a run in the top of the second to pull ahead 3-2.

After Lowery led off the inning with a single and stole second, Jacob Griffis was hit by a pitch before Lowery was erased on the base paths due to a fielder's choice by Dillon Bean. Griffis then rumbled home thanks to a Callender bloop single and a Wildcat throwing error on the play.

In the third, CHS stretched their lead to 4-2 when Richards scored on a RBI single by Lowery after reaching base on a bloop single and advancing to third on a wild pitch and a Santa Fe error.

The Wildcats tallied two runs in the bottom of the third with the aid of two Bulldog errors to knot the game at 4-4 before Cornersville left runners in scoring position in each of the next two innings.

CHS then snapped the tie by plating a run in the top of the sixth to seize a 5-4 advantage. After Callender was hit by a pitch, courtesy runner Chance Dyer advanced to second on a balk. Adams then laced a two-out double into the right centerfield gap to drive in Dyer.

That proved to be all the run support that Callender would need, as he retired Santa Fe in order over the last two innings to clinch Cornersville's second win of the season.