Mistakes hurt in Bulldog loss
The Bulldogs (11-13) looked to build on its dominant 7-4 win over Richland the previous evening and pull an upset against longtime rival Columbia Academy (29-5) for a chance to move into the finals of the winners bracket of the district 11A tournament.
The Bulldogs namesakes from Columbia came into the game undefeated in the district, but had beaten Cornersville by just three runs in a district showdown a week and a half earlier.
Cornersville failed to capitalize on a one run lead after the first inning and following a missed opportunity to re-take the lead in the top of the third, while the maroon and white gave up three unanswered runs to Columbia Academy to drop down to the losers bracket after the 4-1 loss.
"A few mistakes was the difference between the win and the loss tonight," Cornersville coach Ben Putnam said. "We played better than we have lately but it wasn't good enough. We had less mistakes but still too many."
"Between mistakes on the field, missed pitches, leaving guys on base, and not coming through with runners in scoring position," Putnam continued. "If anyone of those four things turns out a little different we have a shot to win the game."
In stark contrast to Fridays win over Richland when the Bulldogs helped pitcher Graham Duke out with six hits for six RBI, the Cornersville offense managed just one hit against CA's Wright, who finished the complete game for the home team.
"We're swinging at a lot of first pitches and popping them up or we're hitting it right to them," senior center fielder J.D. Crabtree remarked. "We're not seeing enough pitches and we're not tiring out any pitchers with these easy outs. We need to be more patient in the batter's box."
Cornersville stunned the Columbia Academy crowd in the first inning when Cameron Whitaker scored on the only Bulldog RBI of the game by Aaron Fox to take the early 1-0 lead, but the private school from Maury County tied the game in the bottom of the first.
Cornersville threatened again in the top of the third when hot hitting Cody Caneer reached base on an infield single and stole second before Whitaker reached first on a walk.
Duke hit a blooper into center that looked ready to drop before a CA outfielder made a diving catch followed by a toss to first to throw out Whitaker who was caught in between first and second base for a double play.
Wright decided to put Ben Taylor on first with an intentional walk, but Aaron Fox got Columbia Academy out of the jam with a pop up to center, leaving runners stranded on first and second base.
Columbia Academy countered with its own third inning rally when an errant throw to third base allowed a runner to score before Noah Brock knocked a single down the third base line to score the second run of the inning for the number one seed.
Cornersville pitcher Carson Stacey retired the next three batters before Michael Allen entered in relief and held CA scoreless until one more run was added to the lead on a sacrifice fly deep to center.
Cornersville tried to rally one last time when Caleb Crowell was sent to first base after getting hit by a pitch with two outs in the seventh, but a Caneer pop-up ended the game with the 4-1 Columbia Academy win.
"The win yesterday, we were batting a lot better," Caneer said. "Our defense was good tonight, but having that pitcher on the mound made it hard for us to hit the ball. We kept popping the ball straight up in the air and that made for easy outs for them."
Cornersville was eliminated in a 9-3 loss to Richland on Monday.
Columbia Academy 4, Cornersville 1
Cornersville 100 000 0-1 1 3
Columbia Academy 102 001 X-4 8 1
Cornersville: Graham Duke 1-for-2
RS: Cameron Whitaker
RBI: Aaron Fox
HBP: Caleb Crowell, Whitaker
SB: Cody Caneer
Columbia Academy: Brock 2-for-3, Thompson 1-for-4, Lentz 1-for-3, McCall 1-for-3, Kintz 1-for-2, Thurman 1-for-2, Petzet 1-for-3
RS: Lentz, McCall, Kintz
RBI: Thurman, Wright, Brock
SB: Thompson, Lentz
WP: Wright (7IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 3K, 3BB)
LP: Carson Stacey (4IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, 0K, 2BB), Michael Allen (2IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 0K, 0BB)
Monday, May 9
Cornersville 000 050 0-3 6 3
Richland 005 103 X-9 8 0
Cornersville: Aaron Fox 2-for-4, Cameron Whitaker 1-for-3, Ben Taylor 1-for-4, JD Crabtree 1-for-2, Colby Downs 1-for-3
RS: Michael Allen, Downs, Caleb Crowell
RBI: Cody Caneer, Graham Duke, Whitaker
SF: Graham Duke
FC: Allen, Fox
SB: Blake Pickett
Richland: Tarpley 2-for-4, Briggs 2-for-3, Gibson 2-for-4, Rose 1-for-3, Morgan 1-for-3
RS: Tarpley 2, Rose 2, Briggs 2, Gibson, Baron, Morgan
RBI: Gibson 2, Baron 2, Tarpley, Briggs, Landers
SF: Landers, Baron
HBP: Rose, Briggs
SB: Briggs, Baron, Morgan
LP: Carson Stacey (3.1IP, 5H, 6R, 3ER, 2K, 1BB), Ben Taylor (1.2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1K, 2BB), Carson Walker (0IP, 2H, 3R, 2ER, 0K, 0BB), Raymond Cooksey (1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1K, 1BB)