Buccaneers eliminate Bulldogs from state tournament

Friday, May 22, 2015
The Cornersville Bulldogs line up for introductions before their game against BoydBuchanan on Wednesday night. Pictured, from left, are Tate Lowery, David Looney, J.D. Crabtree, Aaron Fox, Chance Dyer, Graham Duke, Curt Taylor, Ben Taylor, and Hunter Talley. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Boyd Buchanan (29-10) knocked the Cornersville Bulldogs (20-12) out of the Class A State Tournament on Wednesday night when the Buccaneers defeated CHS 11-0 in five innings at Middle Tennessee Christian School in the second round of the loser's bracket.

Although Cornersville saw their season end on a disappointing note, the Bulldogs didn't let that tarnish their gritty playoff run, which saw them reach the Spring Fling for the second time in three years and record the second victory at the State Tournament in the program's history.

'Meant the world'

"This meant the world to me. I never would have believed at the first of the year that we would have come together like this and become a family," said senior outfielder Hunter Talley, who battled through a severely sprained ankle in his final game at CHS. "I'm just glad I got to be a part of it and I thought we represented Cornersville well. I had the time of my life."

Bolstered by a pair of five-run innings, Boyd Buchanan finished with nine hits overall to go along with three walks and two hit batsmen.

Colby Morgan and Josh Antwine both tallied two hits and a 2 RBI to lead the Buccaneers at the plate, while Austin Jackson added a solo homerun. E.J. Matthews registered a hit and a 3 RBI for Boyd Buchanan as well.

Buccaneer starting pitcher Cade Evans muzzled the Bulldogs' offensive attack and yielded just two hits in five scoreless innings of work while issuing no walks and notching eight strikeouts en route to earning the win.

Two hits

Cornersville's Tate Lowery slides head first in the second base after hitting a double in the top of the first inning against Boyd Buchanan.

Seniors Tate Lowery and Chance Dyer doubled and singled respectively to account for both Cornersville hits in the contest.

"It's crazy to think about that I've been a part of two State Tournament teams," said Lowery. "No one thought Cornersville would ever make it to the State Tournament and we made it twice in three years."

Bulldog starting pitcher J.D. Crabtree lasted just one inning and suffered the loss after giving up five runs on two hits and a walk. Lowery then came on in relief of Crabtree and allowed six runs over three innings on seven hits and two walks.

Best chance

Cornersville's best chance to get on the board came in the top of the first inning when Lowery roped a leadoff double down the left field line before Crabtree was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one outs.

Evans, however, quickly halted the Bulldogs momentum and retired the next two CHS batters on a fielder's choice and a fly out to extinguish the threat.

The Buccaneers then took the wind out of the Cornersville's sails in the bottom of the first by crossing home plate five times in the frame on the strength of two hit batsmen, an error, a Morgan RBI double, a two-run triple by Matthews, and an Antwine RBI groundout to take a 5-0 lead.

Bucs keep scoring

In the bottom of the second, Boyd Buchanan opened up a 6-0 advantage when Evans raced home on a RBI double by Morgan after singling with one out.

Lowery held the Buccaneers scoreless in the third inning, but Boyd Buchanan brought the mercy rule into effect in the bottom of the fourth by plating five more runs with the help of a Jackson solo homer, a sacrifice fly by Morgan, an Antwine two-run double, and a RBI single by Seth Rogers to cap their 11-0 victory.