Bulldogs surge past Mt. Pleasant

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Cornersville's David Looney slides safely into home plate while scoring on a Mt. Pleasant throwing error in the bottom of the fourth inning. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

After receiving a first round bye, the Cornersville Bulldogs (15-11) began defense of their District 11-A tournament title by defeating tourney host Mt. Pleasant 12-2 in six innings on Saturday afternoon to notch their sixth straight win over the Tigers.

Mt. Pleasant (12-18) held a 2-1 lead through the first three innings of play, but the Bulldogs eventually got their offense on track and scored 11 runs over the next three frames to claim the mercy rule shortened victory.

'A lot of fight'

Cornersville second baseman Chance Dyer scoops up a roundball before throwing out Mt. Pleasant's C.J. Russell at first base in the top of the third inning.

"I think our guys showed a lot of fight today," said CHS coach Ben Putman. "We got down early and things didn't go our way the first three innings, but we battled back and finished strong."

The Bulldogs tallied nine hits overall, but were also aided by 11 walks, two hit batsmen, and two Tiger errors. Catcher Aaron Fox spearheaded Cornersville's late offensive surge by going 3-for-5 with 4 RBI. Starting pitcher David Looney and Tyler Lowery notched two hits and 2 RBI for CHS as well, while Tate Lowery (2 RBI) and Chance Dyer each had one hit.

After getting off to a shaky start, Looney shut down Mt. Pleasant's offense the rest of the way, as he allowed just two runs, one earned, in six innings of work on three hits and a walk while piling up 14 strikeouts en route to earning his ninth win of the season.

Bradey Gill doubled and drove in a run to account for the Tigers lone extra base hit of the game, while C.J. Russell and Lonnie Taylor both singled. Mt. Pleasant starting pitcher Dylan Nicholson suffered the loss after allowing five runs over four innings on three hits and six walks.

Early deficit

The Tigers knocked Cornersville on their heels at the start of the game by plating two runs in the top of the first inning with the help of a leadoff single by Taylor, a Gill RBI double, and two Bulldog errors to grab a 2-0 lead.

CHS left two runners on base in the bottom of the first, but scratched out a run in the third inning to narrow the gap to 2-1. After Tate Lowery and Looney both drew walks, Tyler Lowery singled to load the bases with one out. Tate Lowery was then thrown out at home on a fielder's choice by Fox, but Looney scored a few moments later when Nicholson was called for a balk.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Bulldogs began to take control of the game, as they pushed across four runs in the frame to seize a 5-2 lead. Cornersville loaded the bases with two outs thanks to walks from Curt Taylor, Dyer, and Tate Lowery before Looney legged out a RBI infield single to tie the game at 2-2. After Tyler Lowery was hit by a pitch to bring home Dyer, Tate Lowery and Looney both scored on a RBI infield single by Fox and a Tiger throwing error.

Insurance runs

The Bulldogs continued to pad their lead in the fifth inning and crossed home plate four more times on the strength of a two walks, a Tate Lowery RBI single, an infield single by Looney, a Tyler Lowery RBI single, and a two-run single by Fox to forge a 9-2 advantage.

Mt. Pleasant stranded two men in scoring position in the top of the sixth before Cornersville delivered the knockout blow in the bottom half of the inning by tallying three runs in the frame with the aid of a two walks, a Dyer infield single, a RBI walk by Tate Lowery, a Looney sacrifice fly, a hit batsman, and a RBI single by Fox to wrap up their 12-2 triumph.