Bulldogs double up Columbia Academy
The Cornersville Bulldogs picked up an important win in the race for first place in the District 11-A standings on Tuesday when they defeated second place Columbia Academy 8-4 on the road in the first game of a doubleheader.
After building a 3-1 lead through the first three innings of play, the first place Bulldogs (11-5, 7-0 District) scored five more runs over the next four frames to forge an 8-1 advantage before holding off a Columbia Academy rally attempt in the bottom of the seventh.
Although he had to battle an extremely tight strike zone the entire afternoon, CHS starting pitcher David Looney managed to work out of trouble time and again en route to earning his sixth win of the year, as he allowed just one run in five innings of work on six hits and eight walks to go along with seven strikeouts.
Tate Lowery came on in relief of Looney and gave up three runs over one and two-third innings on six hits, while Jody Sullivan recorded the final out to pick up the save.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, finished with 11 hits and six walks against two Columbia Academy hurlers. Aaron Fox did the most damage at the plate for Cornersville by going 3-for-3 with a walk, two doubles, and 2 RBI. Looney (2 RBI), and Ben Taylor tallied two hits apiece for the Bulldogs as well, while Tate Lowery (1 RBI), Chance Dyer (1 RBI), Hunter Talley, and Sullivan each had one hit.
Columbia Academy starting pitcher Michael Marlin suffered the loss after giving up six runs, three earned, over four plus innings on six hits and two walks. Blake Hayes (2 RBI) and Drew Thornton notched three hits apiece to pace CA (8-6, 5-2 District) offensively.
Cornersville wasted little time getting on the board and scored a run in the top of the first inning to grab a 1-0 lead. Following a one-out walk by Looney, courtesy runner Nate Huitt advanced to second on a groundout by Tyler Lowery before Fox belted a RBI double to deep left field.
After Columbia Academy stranded two men on base in each of the first two innings, the Bulldogs plated two runs in the top of the third with the help of a leadoff single by Ben Taylor, a Fox RBI single, and two errors to open up a 3-0 advantage.
CA tallied a run in the bottom of the third to trim the deficit to 3-1, but Cornersville scored two runs in the top of the fourth on the strength of Dyer infield single, a double by Taylor, a Tate Lowery RBI infield single, and an error to stretch their lead to 5-1.
Columbia Academy left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth before the Bulldogs pushed across to more runs in the top of the fifth to forge a 7-1 advantage. After Fox drew a leadoff walk, Talley and Sullivan both singled to load the bases with one out. Dyer then drove in courtesy runner J.D. Crabtree with a RBI sacrifice bunt before Talley raced home on a wild pitch.
Holding off CA
In the top of the seventh, Cornersville tacked on a run thanks to a bases loaded walk by Looney to extend their lead to 8-1.
Columbia Academy made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh and crossed home plate three times in the frame on a two-run single by Hayes and a Thornton RBI single to narrow the gap to 8-4 before loading the bases with two outs.
Sullivan finally subdued CA's late rally by retiring Nick Hayes on a groundout to seal the win for the Bulldogs.
Columbia Academy then defeated Cornersville 14-4 in the second game of the doubleheader to earn a split in the season series.