Hot LMS Tigers take down Bulldogs
As the one of the best seasons in recent memory for Lewisburg Middle School (18-3) winds down, the Tigers traveled a short distance down the road to take on Cornersville Middle School on a rare Saturday afternoon game.
And much like the rest of the Tigers 17 wins, LMS dominated the Bulldogs from the pitcher’s mound as Logan McKnight threw 5.2 innings of shutout ball and Carson Cheek finished off the game for the 10-0 win.
"We've kind of got a little momentum," LMS coach Beau Hardison said. "Yesterday we played a double header against Columbia Academy (both wins) and we had 23-24 hits in the two games."
"Pitching's still been solid all year, we can't complain about that," Hardison added. "We started making plays. We're starting to peak at the right time just before the tournament starts next week."
The Bulldogs, on the other hand, struggled against the Tigers pitching with just three hits over seven innings, while committing five errors on the field, but found a shining light in eighth-grade pitcher Kyrklinn Wunderlin who came in the to pitch CMS out of a bases loaded jam in the third and tacked on two scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth innings.
"We had a hard time getting big hitters out in the third inning," CMS assistant coach Kelly Lane said. "We got kind of down in the third inning, but then we came back and played pretty good defense."
"We got two good innings and held 'em," Lane continued. "And then, just like anything else, when your pitching's thin it gets hard there late in the game. They kind of closed out on us."
The Tigers were led at the plate by Christian Stacey, who finished with four quality at bats by gathering three hits and a walk to go along with three RBI.
Caleb McElhaney added two hits for two RBI and Mason Collins finished with two RBI for the Tigers.
McKnight finished with six strikeouts on 14 first pitch strikes while giving up just three hits during 5.2 innings before Cheek came in to sit down all five batters he faced to end the contest.
Brady Calahan started on the mound for the Bulldogs and gave up just one run over the first two innings but got into trouble in the third, before Wunderlin stepped in to tame the Tigers for two innings.
Stacey picked up an RBI during the top of the first for an early 1-0 lead, before Stacey sent home two more runs in the top of the third and McElhaney was able to score on a shortstop error for a 5-0 lead.
The Bulldogs threatened in the third as Luke Terry got the ball rolling with a two-out single in between the third baseman and shortstop and Logan Courtemanche added a single to left field, before stealing second to put both runners in scoring position.
McKnight was able to escape the jam by striking out Calahan to end the ending with the 5-0 lead in tact.
The Tigers were able to add three insurance runs in the fifth as McElhaney sent a triple to the left field fence for a 7-0 lead.
LMS added two more runs in the seventh as Collins brought home Ethan Spivey and Bryson Whaley on a double for the 10-0 final in a game that was more competitive than the score showed.
"This is actually a bigger rivalry than people think," Hardison said. "I don't know how long the series has been going because this is just my second year of coaching, but they actually beat us here last year."
"It's hard to play here at Cornersville," Hardison added. "All these kids play with each other all year long so they know each other well. It's a pretty big rivalry actually."
And for the Bulldogs, despite the loss, they are still lessons to be taken away from the rivalry.
"It doesn't matter if you have a good inning or a bad inning, you can't let that beat you," Lane explained. "You've got to keep playing and I think our guys kind of held in there and played hard."
LMS 104 003 2-10 10 1
CMS 000 000 0-0 3 5
LMS: Christian Stacey 3-for-3, Caleb McElhaney 2-for-3, JW Beasley 1-for-4, Zach Graves 1-for-4, Mason Collins 1-for-1, Bryson Whaley 1-for-1, Logan McKnight 1-for-3
RBI: Stacey 3, Collins 2, McElhaney 2
BB: Ryan Kirby, McElhaney, Stacey, McKnight
RS: Graves 3, Whaley 2, Beasley, Ethan Spivy, Stacey, Peyton Graves, Bryson Hammons
ROE: Zack Graves 2, Peyton Graves, McKnight
FC: Peyton Graves, Kirby, A'Ky Howard
HBP: Spivy, Hammons
SB: Stacey 2, Collins, Whaley
E: Logan McKnight
WP: Logan McKnight (5.2IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 6K, 2BB), Carson Cheek (1.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 2K, 0BB)
Cornersville: Logan Courtemanche 2-for-3, Luke Terry 1-for-3
SB: Brady Callahan, Courtemanche, Terry