Mustangs' 6-run blast ends Bulldogs' hopes
On Thursday, the Cornersville Bulldogs (11-7) lost their second straight game when they dropped a 10-6 decision to the Loretto Mustangs (9-8) at home.
The two teams were locked in a 4-4 tie through the first three innings of play, but the Mustangs erupted for six runs in the top of the fourth to grab a 10-4 lead before fending off a late rally attempt by the Bulldogs.
Loretto finished with eight hits against three Cornersville pitchers, but also took advantage of six walks and two Bulldog errors.
Strikes a must
"If we don't walk some guys those big innings don't happen. It starts on the mound and you've got to throw strikes," said CHS coach Ben Putman. "Loretto is a good team and they're playing well right now. They might be someone that we could see down the road in the playoffs if we can get out of our own District."
Reliever Tate Lowery suffered the loss on the mound after yielding six runs over three and two-third innings on five hits and three walks. Bulldog starting hurler Curt Taylor allowed four runs in two and a third innings of work on three hits and three walks, while Jesse Phillips threw one scoreless inning.
Starting pitcher Mason Purser wielded the biggest bat for the Mustangs, as he went 3-for-4 with a double, 5 RBI, and a run scored. Evan Robbins also added a solo homerun for Loretto, while Myles Burkes (2 RBI), Jake Sharpton, Austin Hobbs, and Bailey Flatt all had one hit.
The Bulldogs tallied nine hits and four walks against Purser and Mustang reliever Brandon Gillespie to go along with three Loretto errors, but left 11 men on base overall. Tyler Lowery went 3-for-4 with two runs scored to lead Cornersville offensively, while Aaron Fox notched two hits and a RBI. Phillips (2 RBI), David Looney, Tate Lowery, and Jody Sullivan each chipped in one hit for CHS as well.
Gillespie picked up the win on the mound and yielded two runs over four and two-third innings on five hits and two walks.
The Bulldogs got off to a good start and pushed across two runs in the bottom of the first inning to grab a 2-0 lead. After Looney reached first on an error, Tyler Lowery and Aaron Fox both singled to load the bases with one out. Purser then hit Taylor with a pitch to bring home Looney before Phillips drew a RBI walk.
Taylor retired Loretto in order in the second inning, but ran into trouble in the top of the third, as the Mustangs crossed home plate four times in the frame thanks to a bases loaded walk by Myles and a Purser three-run double to seize a 4-2 advantage.
Loretto takes over
The Bulldogs plated two runs in the bottom of the third on a RBI infield single by Phillips and a Ben Taylor sacrifice fly to tie the contest at 4-4, but Loretto took control of the game by tallying six runs in the top of the fourth on the strength of a solo homer by Robbins, a Burks RBI single, a two-run single by Purser, a Chance Kennedy RBI fielder's choice, and a CHS error to take a 10-4 lead.
Cornersville tried to chip away at the deficit in the bottom of the sixth and notched two runs with the help of a walk by Looney, a Tyler Lowery bloop single, a RBI single by Fox, and an error to narrow the gap to 10-6.
The Bulldogs then put two runners on first and second with one out in the seventh inning thanks to a Ben Taylor walk and a hit batsman, but Gillespie fanned the next two CHS batters to wrap up the win for the Mustangs.