Bulldogs squander late lead, swept by Lions
After a tough 3-1 loss on Tuesday at Grace Christian School-Franklin (GCA), the Cornersville Bulldogs returned home on Wednesday where they squandered a three-run lead in an 8-6 loss to the Lions.
“We had a chance there to really take a step forward, but we let it slip away,” Cornersville coach Ben Putnam said. “We just didn’t have enough to close it out.”
Senior Ben Taylor turned in a great effort for Cornersville (5-5, 2-4), tossing 5.2 innings on the mound where he gave up just six hits, six runs (three earned), struck out two, and walked six GCA batters.
“Walks score, especially leadoff walks score,” Putnam said. “Take those away and we pitched well, fielded well, hit the ball well enough and we played well enough to win tonight, we just didn’t get enough things to go our way.”
Taylor also went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI, while Eli Woodard banged out three hits in the contest for the Bulldogs, who are tied for fifth place with Mt. Pleasant (2-6, 2-4) and Santa Fe (2-4, 2-4) in the District 11A standings.
Seventh ranked Columbia Academy (7-3, 6-0) leads the way, followed by Richland (5-1, 3-0), Culleoka (4-5, 4-2), and GCA (6-5, 2-2). Hampshire is in last place with a 1-6 overall mark and 0-5 in league play.
“We just have to win the rest of them (district games), hold our ground and hold serve from here on out,” Putnam said.
There was no scoring in the first two innings at Cornersville on Wednesday before the Lions broke through with a run in the top of the third on an RBI double by Carson Ford.
GCA starting pitcher Baylor Jones retired the Bulldogs in the bottom of the third and in the top of the fourth inning, the Lions tacked on two more runs on a two-run single by Grant Solomon to make it 3-0.
The Bulldogs did not score in the home half of the inning and Taylor did not allow any runs in the top of the fifth after giving up a leadoff double to Kolby Alonzo.
Cameron Whitaker drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth inning and Woodard followed with an infield single.
Graham Duke walked to load the bases before Taylor sent Whitaker to the plate with Cornersville’s first run on an RBI single to left field.
A wild pitch scored Duke before Jones got a pop-up for the first out.
Knox Barnes drew a base on balls to reload the sacks and freshman Tyler Wolaver put the Bulldogs in the lead at 4-3 with a fielder’s choice RBI.
Kolbe McMahon and Whitaker followed with back-to-back RBI base knocks, giving Cornersville a 6-3 lead before Zak White came to mound for the Lions and got an inning ending strikeout to send the game to the sixth inning.
Things went downhill in the inning for the Bulldogs as three errors, three bases on balls, and a hit batsman handed GCA three runs to tie the game.
White retired the Bulldogs in the bottom of the sixth inning and in the top of the seventh, a one-out walk to Kitch Cash, followed by a hit batsman (Gavin Ford), and a single by Solomon loaded the bases.
White also walked to put GCA in front and Alonzo followed with an RBI single to make it 8-6.
Cornersville did not mount a comeback in its final at-bat and the Lions got the series sweep for the second season in a row.
“The kids never quit,” Putnam said. “They came back from a deficit twice, but we just ran out of gas.”
The Bulldogs are back in action this weekend at the Viking Invitational at Unionville where they take on Nolensville (6 p.m.) and Community (8 p.m.) tonight.
Wednesday, March 29 at Cornersville
Grace Christian 001 203 2- 8 8 1
Cornersville 000 060 0-6 9 3
Grace Christian: Kolby Alonzo 3-for-4, Grant Solomon 2-for-3, Carson Ford 1-for-3, Baylor Jones 1-for-4, Ty Davidson 1-for-3
2B: Alonzo, Carson Ford, Solomon
RBI: Carson Ford 2, Solomon 2, Alonzo, Gavin Ford, Zak White
BB: White 4, Gavin Ford, Austin Kasick, Kitch Cash, Solomon
RS: Cash2, Davidson 2, White 2, Kasick, Solomon
SAC: Alonzo, Gavin Ford
ROE: Alonzo, Cash
HBP: Carson Ford, Davidson
E: Gavin Ford
WP: Zak White
Cornersville: Eli Woodard 3-for-4, Ben Taylor 2-for-4, Michael Allen 1-for-4, Tyler Wolaver 1-for-3, Kolbe McMahon 1-for-3, Cameron Whitaker 1-for-3
RBI: Allen, Taylor, Whitaker, Wolaver, McMahon
BB: Graham Duke, Wolaver, Knox Barnes, Whitaker
RS: Woodard, Duke, Allen, Dakota Polk, Wolaver, Whittaker
FC: Duke, Wolaver
E: Taylor 2, Woodard
LP: Michael Allen (0.2IP, 0H, 2R, 2ER, 2K, 1BB), Ben Taylor (5.2IP, 6H, 6R, 3ER, 2K, 6BB), Cameron Whitaker (0.2IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 1K, 1BB)
Tuesday, March 28 at Grace Christian
Cornersville 010 000 0-1 3 4
Grace Christian 000 111 X-3 6 1
Cornersville: Ben Taylor 1-for-3, Knox Barnes 1-for-2, Caleb Crowell 1-for-2
RBI: Kolbe McMahon
BB: Eli Woodard, Crowell
E: Graham Duke 2, Taylor, Woodard
LP: Carson Stacey (6IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 6K, 1BB)
Grace Christian: Carson Ford 2-for-3, Austin Kasick 2-for-2, Kolby Alonzo 1-for-4, Grant Solomon 1-for-4
RBI: Kasick 2, Carson Ford
RS: Alonzo, Gavin Ford, Kasick
SAC: Jarrett Splendario
ROE: Gavin Ford, Ty Davidson, Solomon, Kitch Cash
SB: Alonzo, G Ford
CS: Carson Ford
E: Carson Ford
WP: Austin Kasick (7IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 8K, 2BB)