Looney sets strikeout record in shutout of Santa Fe

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Cornersville starting pitcher David Looney set the single game school record for strikeouts by fanning 19 Santa Fe batters on Monday night. Photos by Louis Scheuchenzuber

After helping to guide the Cornersville Bulldogs to their first ever State Tournament appearance last year, junior pitcher David Looney made history once again on Monday night when he set the single game school record for strikeouts to lead CHS to a 9-0 home victory over District 11-A foe Santa Fe in their season opener.

Effectively mixing his curveball with an overpowering fastball, Looney made easy work of the Wildcat lineup and racked up 19 strikeouts in six and a third scoreless innings of work while yielding five hits and a walk.

Now it's his

Looney had shared the previous record of 18 strikeouts with former Cornersville staff ace and current Mississippi State reliever Lucas Laster before finally one upping his fellow left-hander on Monday night.

"It feels pretty nice. I've been talking to Lucas about the record and was messing with him about it. I told him I wanted to break it before I leave here," said Looney. "I was really comfortable with my fastball, but all my pitches were working tonight. I felt relaxed out there because I knew my teammates had my back if they did put it in play."

The Bulldogs also achieved the rare feat of recording all 21 outs via the strikeout when reliever Tate Lowery fanned two Wildcat batters in the top of the seventh inning while issuing one walk.

Hits galore

Cornersville, meanwhile, gave their pitching staff plenty of offensive support and pounded out 12 hits against three Wildcat hurlers to go along with six walks.

"I was pleasantly surprised with how we hit the ball," said CHS coach Ben Putman. "We didn't hit well in the preseason so there was a reason for concern coming into tonight's game."

Looney (2 RBI), Tyler Lowery (1 RBI), Tate Lowery (1 RBI), and Aaron Fox (1 RBI) tallied two hits apiece to lead the Bulldogs offensive attack with Tyler Lowery belting a homerun. Dallas Wright (3 RBI), Curt Taylor (1 RBI), Hunter Talley, and Jesse Phillips each notched one hit for Cornersville as well.

The Bulldogs gave Looney all the run support he would need in the bottom of the first inning, as they crossed home plate four times in the frame to take a 4-0 lead.

Early lead

Cornersville's Tyler Lowery slides safely into second while stealing a base in the bottom of the first inning against Santa Fe.

Tyler Lowery led off the inning with a single and stole second before Looney drew a walk. After Lowery raced home on a RBI single by Fox, Jody Sullivan reached base on an error to load the bases with no outs. Sullivan was then called out when a single by Talley hit him on the leg while he was running to second, but Wright cleared the bags by lining a three-run single into the right centerfield gap.

In the bottom of the second, Cornersville plated two more runs to open up a 6-0 advantage. Following a solo homer by Tyler Lowery, Tate Lowery singled and stole second prior to scoring on a RBI double by Looney.

The Bulldogs then stretched their lead to 7-0 in the third inning on a RBI single by Looney before tacking on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth with the help of a Taylor RBI double and a sacrifice fly by Tate Lowery to forge a 9-0 advantage.

Having tied the record at the end of the sixth inning, Looney allowed a single to start the top of the seventh before fanning the next Santa Fe batter to set the new single game strikeout mark. Tate Lowery then sandwiched two strikeouts around a walk to wrap up the victory for the Bulldogs.