Bulldogs fend off Fayetteville

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Cornersville third baseman Chance Dyer tries to throw out Fayetteville's Will Clark at first base after making a diving stop in the top of the third inning. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Bulldogs (9-5) snapped a four-game losing streak on Thursday afternoon by defeating the Fayetteville Tigers 7-4 at home in the first game of a doubleheader.

Cornersville appeared headed for a relatively stress free victory and held a 7-0 lead through the first six innings of play, but had to stave off a Fayetteville rally attempt in the top of the seventh that saw the Tigers bring the tying run to the plate to hold on for the win.

Bats come alive

After scoring a total of just seven runs in their previous four games, the Bulldogs finally snapped out of their offensive funk on Thursday and finished with seven hits and five walks against two Fayetteville pitchers to go along with four Tiger errors.

J.D. Crabtree doubled and drove in a run to account for Cornersville's lone extra base hit of the contest, while Tate Lowery (2 RBI), Aaron Fox (1 RBI), Hunter Talley (1 RBI), Jesse Phillips (1 RBI), Chance Dyer, and starting pitcher David Looney all singled.

Looney also turned in a stellar performance on the mound and ran his record to 5-1 on the season by limiting Fayetteville to just one hit in five innings of work while piling up 11 strikeouts and issuing no walks. Curt Taylor then came on in relief of Looney and gave up four runs, two earned, over one and two-third innings on two hits and three walks, while Jody Sullivan retired the one batter he faced to earn the save.

Bouncing back

"We finally hit the ball a little bit and scored some runs. David bounced back from a rough outing and pitched as well as he has all year," said CHS coach Ben Putman. "We definitely wanted to get that bad taste out of our mouth from this past weekend when we lost four in a row."

Fayetteville starting pitcher Zach Harwell suffered the loss and yielded seven runs over four and two-third innings on six hits and five walks. Denzel Hampton (2 RBI), Harwell (1 RBI), and Darrion King each tallied one hit for the Tigers (2-8).

Cornersville grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Tate Lowery scampered home on a RBI groundout by Fox after reaching second base on a Fayetteville error and advancing to third on a Looney groundout.

The Bulldogs then opened up a 2-0 advantage in the second inning thanks to a RBI single by Talley before notching a run in the bottom of the third with the help of two walks and a Tiger error to stretch their lead to 3-0.

Pulling ahead

Cornersville's J.D. Crabtree rounds third while scoring on a two-run single by Tate Lowery in the bottom of the fifth inning.

In the top of the fourth, the Bulldogs conjured up some two-out magic and pushed across four runs in the frame to forge a 7-0 advantage. Dyer singled with two outs and stole second before Dallas Wright drew a walk. After Dyer advanced to third on a wild pitch, Phillips laced a RBI single into left field to make it 4-0. Crabtree then plated pinch runner Cody Caneer by ripping a RBI double down the left field line before he and Phillips both came home on a two-run single by Tate Lowery.

The Tigers made things interesting in the top of the seventh and crossed home plate four times in the frame on the strength of three walks, three CHS errors, a Harwell RBI single, a RBI fielder's choice by King, and a Hampton two-run single to narrow the gap to 7-4 while still having runners on first and second with two outs.

Sullivan finally doused Fayetteville's rally attempt by retiring Sean Hall on a groundout to seal the win for the Bulldogs.