Bulldogs knock off Eagleville
Having lost three straight one-run games earlier in the week, the Cornersville Bulldogs (10-13-1) got a shot in the arm before the start of the playoffs, as they defeated District 9-A leader Eagleville 3-1 on the road in their regular season finale on Friday afternoon.
Aided by a strong outing from starting pitcher Matt Callender, Cornersville held a 1-0 lead through the first five innings of play, but the Eagles (22-9) plated a run in the bottom of the sixth to knot the score at 1-1.
The Bulldogs, though, kept their composure and tallied two runs in the top of the seventh to pull back ahead before thwarting an Eagleville rally attempt in the bottom half of the inning to snap a five-game losing streak.
"We've been scuffling lately so this is definitely a great way to bust out of a slump," said CHS coach Ben Putman. "It's good to show that we can win a close game because we've dropped a lot of close games lately. This should help our confidence going into the District tournament."
Facing an Eagleville offense that was averaging over six runs per game coming into Friday's contest, Callender struck out only one batter, but limited the Eagles to just five hits and two walks in seven innings of work to earn his fourth win of the season.
"That was a huge performance from Matt. He had only one strikeout, but pitched to contact and got a lot of soft groundballs," said Putman. "He was a pitcher today not a thrower."
The Bulldogs finished with only five hits as well against three Eagleville hurlers, but drew six walks to go along with two Eagle errors.
Callender doubled to account for Cornersville's lone extra base hit of the contest, while Cody Blackburn, Joe Stocstill, Tyler Lowery, and Andrew Giles all singled with Stocstill, Lowery, and Giles each driving in one run.
Eagleville reliever David Morton suffered the loss on the mound, allowing two unearned runs on two hits and a walk over one inning. Starting pitcher Ryan Hammonds went 2-for-3 with a run scored to pace the Eagles offensively, while Cameron Boyett (1 RBI), Matt Warner, and Taylor Fitzgerald had one hit apiece.
After going down in order in the top of the first inning, the Bulldogs left a man in scoring position in each of the next three frames before finally pushing across a run in the fifth to take a 1-0 lead. Following a one-out single by Blackburn, courtesy runner Jody Sullivan advanced to second on a Callender sacrifice bunt. Stocstill then drove in Sullivan by lacing a RBI single into centerfield.
Callender snuffed out an Eagleville scoring threat in the bottom of the fifth by picking off a runner at second base, but the Eagles tied the game at 1-1 in the sixth when Hammonds raced home on a two-out RBI single by Boyett after singling and advancing to second on a Taylor Dorsey sacrifice bunt.
The Bulldogs quickly counterpunched and used a two-out rally to cross home plate twice in the top of the seventh and seize a 3-1 advantage. After drawing a two-out walk, Stocstill advanced to second on an Eagleville error while Zach Richards reached first base on the play. Stocstill then raced home on a bloop single by Lowery to give CHS a 2-1 lead before Giles plated Richards with an infield single.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Eagles put runners on first and second with two outs thanks to a Jake McDougal walk and a single by Fitzgerald, but Callender retired Hammonds on a pop up to end the game.