Cornersville completes sweep over Mt. Pleasant in postponed game

Friday, March 24, 2017
Cameron Whitaker knocks a base hit into left field before stealing third and home to tie the game up at 1-1 in the top of the fifth inning.
Tribune photos by Mike Inglsbee

The Cornersville Bulldogs and Mt. Pleasant Tigers were set to end the two-game series on Tuesday night, but Mother Nature had other plans, forcing games across the Mid-State to be canceled behind a powerful set of storms pushing across Tennessee.

When the action resumed on Wednesday night at Mt. Pleasant, the Tigers looked like a different team that lost 12-2 against the Bulldogs on Monday, leading 1-0 until the fifth inning and taking a tie into the seventh before Cornersville tacked on three runs to get the 4-1 win.

"We're happy to get out of here with a win against a much improved Mt. Pleasant team," Cornersville coach Ben Putnam said. "Hats off to them, they've come a long way in a year. Their pitcher battled on the mound and gave us fits.”

Third baseman Eli Woodard runs into foul territory to catch a pop up during the Bulldogs’ 4-1 district win over Mt. Pleasant.

“We had a hard time keeping guys on early and late we got them on and couldn't get them in. Finally broke loose there at the end."

The Bulldogs got a monster game on the mound from senior Ben Taylor, who finished a complete game one-hitter with just one run allowed on two strikeouts.

"Knowing that I had people behind me that could make the plays made me comfortable throwing the ball in there," Taylor said. "We just fed off their errors. They made a bad play and we took advantage of it. Cam (Whitaker) came in and got a few stolen bases and that helped us out bigtime."

The Bulldogs were led on the offensive side of things by Graham Duke and Tyler Wolaver with two hits apiece with RBI from Wolaver, Eli Woodard, and Caleb Crowell.

Whitaker added three stolen bases, including the game tying run in the top of the fifth inning.

The Tigers went ahead 1-0 in the second inning as Neal stole home after reaching base after being hit by a pitch.

The two opposing pitchers duked it out for the next three innings before Cornersville finally made a push during the fifth.

Whitaker started things off with a single into left field before advancing to second on a Duke single to right.

The speedy center fielder stole third base and advanced home after the throw from the catcher went over the third baseman's head.

The Bulldogs threatened again in the six after Wolaver hit a double to right field and stole third base, while Kolbe McMahon advanced to first on a walk to put runners on the corners, but Knox Barnes’ deep shot to right field was caught to end the inning knotted at 1.

Ben Taylor throws the final pitch in his complete game, one-hit victory over the Tigers.

The Tigers finally made a move in the sixth when Isabell started the inning off with a deep single into left field before Scharrer moved the runner to second base on a walk. Gillespie laid down a sacrifice bunt, but was able to reach base when Taylor fielded the bunt with first base uncovered.

The Bulldogs got out of a tight jam by pulling off a rare triple play when the pinch hitter hit a slow roller to Taylor, who threw home to Crowell who then fired a shot to first at Wolaver, who promptly threw back to Crowell to tag Scharrer and complete the trifecta and survive to the seventh with no damage done despite bases loaded with no outs before the triple play.

Cornersville came alive at the plate in the final inning as Whitaker struck out, but advanced to first on a passed ball and stole second and third before Woodard drove in the go-ahead run with a shot down the first base line.

After retiring Duke on a strikeout, Taylor was hit by a pitch and Michael Allen was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Cornersville catcher Caleb Crowell fires one down to second base during the Bulldogs’ 4-1 victory at Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday.

Crowell capitalized with a single into right field to bring home Woodard and Wolaver followed suite with a single up the middle for the 4-1 lead.

Taylor finished up his complete game in the seventh with three up and three down and the Bulldogs escaped Maury County with the three-run win.

"(Taylor) has been showing it to us in practice," Putnam said. "As an underclassmen he kinda had arm issues. We were really just needing him to play third base so we needed to save his arm for that. He's kind of had a live arm and we thought he could pitch. He's worked hard at it this year and made it a goal and has done well."

Cornersville 000 010 3-4 7 5

Mt. Pleasant 010 000 0-1 1 4

Cornersville: Graham Duke 2-for-4, Tyler Wolaver 2-for-3, Eli Woodard 1-for-4, Caleb Crowell 1-for-4, Cameron Whittaker 1-for-3

2B: Wolaver

RBI: Caleb Crowell, Eli Woodard, Tyler Wolaver

BB: Michael Allen, Wolaver, Kolbe McMahon

RS: Whittaker 2, Woodard, Dakota Polk

ROE: Crowell, Ben Taylor

FC: McMahon

HBP: Taylor

SB: Whitaker 3

E: Woodard 2, McMahon 2, Taylor

WP: Ben Taylor (7IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 2K, 4BB)

Mt. Pleasant: Gillespie 1-for-3

BB: Isabell, Scharrer, Bratton, Jaggers

RS: Neal

ROE: Russell, Isabell, Scharrer, Neal

FC: Russell, Jaggers

HBP: Neal

SB: Neal 2

E: Alderson, Isabell, Neal

LP: Russell