Warriors defeat Bulldogs Tuesday afternoon

Friday, April 25, 2014
Cornersville High School honored senior baseball players (from left to right) Jesse Phillips, Jody Sullivan, and Tyler Lowery after the Bulldogs game against Culleoka on Tuesday. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Culleoka took much of the fun out of Cornersville's Senior Day, as the Warriors defeated the Bulldogs 5-3 on Tuesday afternoon to salvage a split of the season series.

Aided by some two-out magic, Culleoka (9-15-1, 6-6 District) built a 5-1 lead through the first four and a half innings of play before staving off a late Cornersville rally to hang on for the win.

With Tuesday's loss, the Bulldogs fell into second place in the District 11-A standings and need Columbia Academy to lose to Mt. Pleasant in their final league game to claim the top seed in the upcoming conference tournament.

"It's disappointing to lose this game because we had a chance to win the District and now we have to rely on other people. We're still in a good position to have a good playoff run though because of what we did in the regular season," said Cornersville coach Ben Putman.

Culleoka starting pitcher William Fly turned in a strong performance on the mound and tossed a five-hitter while issuing no walks and notching seven strikeouts en route to earning the win.

Tate Lowery (1 RBI), Tyler Lowery (1 RBI), Ben Taylor, David Looney, and Jesse Phillips each tallied one hit for the Bulldogs (13-10, 9-3 District).

Cornersville starting hurler Jody Sullivan also went the distance on the mound and suffered the loss after yielding five runs, three earned, on six hits and seven walks to go along with nine strikeouts.

Fly helped his own cause by going 2-for-3 with a walk, a triple, and 3 RBI. Cole Flatt notched two hits for the Warriors as well, while Savon Tears and Hayden Love each had one hit.

Culleoka had a chance to get on the board in the top of the first inning when they put runners on first and second with two outs thanks to a walk and a Fly infield single, but Bulldog catcher Aaron Fox picked Fly off first base to snuff out the threat.

The Warriors, however, cashed in on their second scoring opportunity, as they pushed across three runs in the top of the third to grab a 3-0 lead. After Culleoka loaded the bases with one out on a walk, a single by Tears, and a Flatt bunt single, Fly cleared the bags by blasting a two-out, three-run triple into the right centerfield gap.

Cornersville shortstop Tate Lowery scoops up a groundball before trying to throw out Culleoka's Dillion South at first base in the top of the fourth inning.

Cornersville narrowed the gap to 3-1 in the bottom of the third when Phillips scored on a RBI single by Tate Lowery after leading off the frame with a single and advancing to third on a pair of groundouts by Ben Taylor and Chance Dyer.

The Warriors left two men in scoring position in the fourth inning, but tacked on two runs in the top of the fifth to open up a 5-1 advantage Culleoka loaded the bases with two outs on a double by Love and a couple of walks by Fly and Brian Greene before Love and Fly both came home on a Bulldog error.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Bulldogs began to chip away at the deficit by plating a run in the frame to make it 5-2. After Ben Taylor roped a double into the left centerfield gap, pinch runner Cody Caneer scored on a Warrior throwing error a few moments later.

Cornersville then tallied a run in the sixth inning on the strength of a leadoff double by Looney and a Tyler Lowery RBI double to close the gap to 5-3, but Fly settled back down and retired the Bulldogs in order in the seventh inning to secure the win for the Warriors.