Bulldogs bounce back, down Mt. Pleasant
It's been over a decade since the Bulldogs have started out a season with three straight district losses and after losing the season opening series to Culleoka by a combined two runs last week, Cornersville needed a win over Mt. Pleasant on Monday night to avoid a 0-3 start in District 11A.
And taking two big wins over Wayne County in a doubleheader last Thursday, the Bulldogs continued their winning ways with a 12-2 romp over the Tigers.
"The first two games against Culleoka we struggled to hit and to get on base, but the last three games we've really hit better," Cornersville coach Ben Putnam stated. "I think we've gotten better. The first couple of games were cold, rough."
Sophomore ace Carson Stacey threw five strong innings for the Bulldogs, leading all pitchers with seven strikeouts that included 12 first-pitch strikes.
"The zone was pretty tight and I struggled getting some strikes and they got a few hits," Stacey explained. "I was expecting them to hit less, honestly. They hit a bunch up the middle and I wasn't expecting that. I was expecting weak ground balls but they hit a lot of line drives I wasn't expecting. My defense backed me up pretty good though."
Stacey had plenty of help on the offensive end with Caleb Crowell leading the Bulldogs with two hits while Tyler Wolaver led the home team with three RBI.
Eli Woodard led the Bulldogs with four quality at-bats which included two RBI to go along with two more RBI from Kolbe McMahon.
The game stayed close in the earlier stages as the Bulldogs tacked on a couple of early runs to take a 2-0 lead at the end of the first inning, but both teams laid goose eggs in the second before the Tigers finally chipped away with a run in the third inning.
Alderson started off the inning with a single, before stealing second base, followed by an Isabell single up to middle to score the first Tiger run of the game to make it 2-1.
Stacey settled down to strike out the next batter before Crowell gunned down Isabell at second base for the second out, followed by another Stacey strikeout to end the inning.
"Stacey didn't necessarily have his best stuff, but he battled and kept us close and gave us a chance," Putnam added. "Without his best stuff he was struggling to find the zone but still was good enough to get a win."
The Bulldogs picked up two more runs in the bottom of the third when Wolaver knocked a single into center field for a 4-1 lead.
Cornersville put the game out of reach in the fourth inning, scoring five runs, starting with a Cam Whitaker single up the middle.
Whittaker stole second and third base before Woodard brought the leadoff man home with another single up the middle.
Woodard stole third base and home to push the lead to 6-1 and Graham Duke walked and stole second, third, and home to extend the lead to 7-1.
The Bulldogs weren't finished as Wolaver drove home another run and McMahon delivered one more run to home plate for a 9-1 lead, heading into the fifth inning.
The Tigers added one more in the top of the fifth but the damage was done as Woodard took the mound in relief in the top of the sixth inning.
The sophomore (Woodard) also added the game ending hit to push the lead to 12-2 and invoke the 10-run rule to end the contest early.
"It's still early," Putnam stated. "We've got some situational stuff to work on. There's a lot of little things in baseball, not just pitching, catching, and hitting. The little things like who's backing up what or where the cutoffs go. So just the little things we can work on and you fine tune those with game experience."
Mt. Pleasant 001 010 X-2 11 9
Cornersville 202 521 X-12 8 2
Mt. Pleasant: Isabell 3-for-4, Gillespie 2-for-4, Russell 1-for-3, Alderson 1-for-3, Scharrer 1-for-2, Campbell 1-for-3, Bratton 1-for-3, Jaggers 1-for-2
RBI: Isabell, Campbell
BB: Scharrer 2, Russell, Jaggers
RS: Alderson, Isabell
ROE: Isabell, Gillespie
E: Russell 2, Isabell 3, Scharrer, Gillespie, Busby 2
Cornersville: Eli Woodard 2-for-4, Kolbe McMahon 2-for-4, Ben Taylor 1-for-3, Michael Allen 1-for-3, Tyler Wolaver 1-for-3, Cameron Whittaker 1-for-3
RBI: Wolaver 3, Woodard 2, McMahon 2
BB: Woodard, Duke, Allen, Crowell, Wolaver, Tilden Jackson
RS: Duke 3, Woodard 2, Taylor 2, Allen 2, Blake Pickett, Jackson, Whittaker
ROE: Graham Duke 2, Crowell, Taylor, Woodard
FC: Allen, McMahon
HBP: Taylor, Duke, Whitaker
SB: Whitaker 2, Woodard 2, Duke
E: Duke 2
WP: Carson Stacey (5IP, 11H, 2R, 2ER, 7K, 1BB), Eli Woodard (1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 3K, 0BB)
Thursday, March 16
Wayne County at Cornersville (DH)
Wayne County 010 00X X-1 3 3
Cornersville 462 1XX X-13 13 2
Wayne County: Rudy Lowe 1-for-2, Swinea 1-for-2, Mills 1-for-2
TB: Lowe, Swinea, Mills
BB: DJ Rich, Connor Kelley
E: Rich, Mills, Goss
LP: Sawyer Turnbow
Cornersville: Cameron Whittaker 3-for-3, Caleb Crowell 2-for-3, Knox Barnes 2-for-2, Tyler Wolaver 2-for-4, Eli Woodard 1-for-3, Graham Duke 1-for-1, Ben Taylor 1-for-3, Michael Allen 1-for-2
2B: Ben Taylor
RBI: Barnes 3, Allen 2, Crowell, Taylor, Duke, Whitaker, Woodard
BB: Duke 2, Allen 2, Kolbe McMahon 2, Woodard, Taylor, Barnes
RS: Allen 3, McMahon 2, Woodard, Taylor, Crowell, Wolaver, Barnes
SB: Allen 2, Wolaver
E: Carson Walker, Woodard
WP: Eli Woodard (3IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 4K, 2BB), Raymond Cooksey (2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0K, 0BB)
Wayne County 130 15X X-10 5 8
Cornersville 322 04X X-11 8 5
Wayne County: Rudy Lowe 2-for-4, DJ Rich 1-for-4, Kelley 1-for-2, Mills 1-for-3
RBI: Mills 3, Harris, Lowe, Kelley
BB: Harris, Kelley, Goss
RS: Harris 2, Goss 2, Rich, Lowe, Turnbow, Kelley, Mills, Swinea
ROE: Swinea 2, Mills, Harris, Lowe,
HBP: Goss 2, Harris, Sawyer Turnbow, Kelley, Swinea, Mills
SB: Swinea, Goss
E: Lowe 2, Turnbow 2, Swinea 2, Mills, Rich
Cornersville: Eli Woodard 3-for-4, Ben Taylor 1-for-3, Michael Allen 1-for-2, Caleb Crowell 1-for-3, Tilden Jackson 1-for-2, Cameron Whittaker 1-for-3
2B: Ben Taylor, Eli Woodard
RBI: Woodard 3, Duke 2, Crowell, Taylor, Jackson, Wolaver
BB: Allen 2, McMahon 2, Jackson 2, Duke, Taylor, Wolaver
RS: Woodard, Taylor 2, Allen 2, Whittaker 2, Duke, McMahon, Jackson
ROE: Duke 2, Crowell, Wolaver
FC: Taylor, Whitaker
SB: Whitaker 2, Woodard 2, Jackson, McMahon
CS: Dakota Polk
E: Woodard 2, Wolaver, McMahon, Taylor
WP: Knox Barnes (1.1IP, 1H, 5R, 1ER, 1K, 1BB), Cameron Whittaker (2IP, 2H, 4R, 0ER, 1K, 1BB), Carson Walker (1.2IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 3K, 1BB)