Cavs sweep diamond series with Warriors
By Sparta Live | March 30, 2011 12:00 am
Mother Nature forced the Warriors and Cavaliers to play a doubleheader in Cookeville on Tuesday and the outcome definitely went in favor of the home team.
Cookeville swept the District 6AAA series from the Warriors with a pair of wins on a day that started out with decent weather and turned into a cold rainy event. The two games took almost five hours to complete.
Missed opportunities and mental mistakes plagued the Warriors in game number one as they dominated most categories in the game. Cookeville, however, was able to take advantage of Warrior miscues and came from behind to take the 5-4 win with a run in the bottom of the seventh.
WCHS was never able to bounce back from the disappointing loss in game one and was shut out in the second game. Cookeville scored 12 runs in the final four innings for the 12-0 victory.
The Warriors rocked the Cookeville pitchers for 11 hits in the first game of the doubleheader, but left eight runners stranded. WCHS had runners on base in every inning except one.
Logan Hicks went the distance on the mound for the Warriors while Cookeville used four different pitchers. Hicks scattered five Cookeville hits and struck out three. He walked two and hit one batter. He allowed five runs, but just two of them were earned.
The Warriors wasted little time going to work offensively loading the bases in the top of the first inning.
Ethan Tollison, who went two for four at the plate on the day, led the game off with a single to left field. Kieran Mayberry, who also had two hits for the game, followed with a single. Conor Sparkman reached on an error loading the bases. After a strikeout, Ryan Kelly reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Tollison but erased Sparkman going to second. A ground ball left two runners stranded, but WCHS had the early 1-0 lead.
Hicks retired the Cookeville side in order in the top of the first, but the Warriors went down in order in their half of the second. Hicks got three ground balls to second for the three outs in the second, but Cookeville did have a base hit. That runner was left stranded.
Sparta stretched the lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Tollison led the inning off with a single. Sparkman followed with a 1-out single moving Tollison to third. Hicks doubled to deep right center field scoring Tollison and Sparkman all the way from first.
That three-run lead disappeared in the third, but all three runs scored by the Cavaliers were unearned.
The lead off batter reached on an error. A single put two runners on. A fielder’s choice erased the lead runner. A walk to the next batter loaded the bases. A strikeout put two outs on the board. The Cavalier runner on third stole home. The Warriors still appeared to be out of the inning with only one run having scored. However, a routine ground ball to the infield resulted in a throwing error that scored another run and left runners at first and third.
Hicks caught the runner off first, but the runner from third tried to score. Hicks wheeled and tried to get the runner going home, but he beat the throw home tying the score at three. A fly ball ended the inning, but three runs scored on just one hit in the frame.
Base running errors became the downfall of the Warriors over the next couple of innings. In both the top of the fourth and fifth innings, Warrior batters, Adam Farley and Kieran Mayberry, led the inning off with doubles, but both got picked off. Following Farley’s double to lead off the fourth, Jaylen Qualls walked and Kane Young singled, but a line drive double play ended that inning.
Cookeville sent just three batters to the plate in each of the fourth and fifth innings. They did have one single during that time, but the runner tried to steal second and Warrior catcher, Travis Howard, threw him out at second.
Mayberry led the fifth off with a double, but was picked off second with the hidden ball trick. The Warriors would go on to take the 4-3 lead. Sparkman reached on an error and went to third on a ground out by Hicks. Sparkman scored when Kelly beat out an infield single. Kelly moved up on back-to-back wild pitches, but was left stranded at third.
The Warriors again left two runners stranded in the sixth inning. Qualls reached on a 1-out error. Young followed with his second hit of the night. Both moved up a base on a ground ball by Tollison. A ground ball left them both stranded.
Cookeville tied the score with their first earned run of the game in the bottom of the sixth. The lead off batter, walked, stole second and scored on a 1-out single. A pair of fly balls left that runner stranded, but the teams headed into the seventh inning tied at four.
Sparkman led the inning off with a single, stole second and went to third on a ground ball, but was left stranded there.
The lead off Cavalier in the bottom of the inning was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a single ending the game.
Tollison, Mayberry, Sparkman and Young each had two hits in the game for WCHS.
The disappointing loss in the first game carried over in the nightcap for the Warriors.
Actually the two teams were locked in a scoreless tie through three innings of the second game.
The Warriors, serving as the home team in game two, out hit Cookeville 5-1 in the first three innings. WCHS would not get another hit in the final four innings.
Sophomore Holden Null got the start on the mound for the Warriors and retired the Cavalier side in order in the first.
Tollison, staying hot with the bat, led the Warriors off with a single, but was erased on a fielder’s choice by Sparkman. Kelly followed with a hit. Hicks took a two-out walk loading the bases, but again WCHS left three runners stranded.
Cookeville did not get a hit in the second, but had two runners reach, one on an error and the other took a walk. Null left those two stranded.
The Warriors missed another opportunity in the second with yet another base running miscue. Qualls led the inning off with a double. With two outs on the board, Tollison beat out an infield single, but Qualls was caught in a rundown between third and home ending that inning.
In the third, Cookeville recorded a 1-out single. Null got out of that inning with a line drive to Young at second, who doubled the runner off at first.
Kelly had a single in the third, but was left stranded. That would be the last hit for the Warriors in the game.
Cookeville put three runs on the board in the fourth. Back to back singles with one out scored the first run. Three wild pitches scored the second run. Brian Lambert came on to replace Null on the mound. He got the first runner to ground out, but the runner moved to third and would later score on a balk. That was one of three balks in the game by Warrior pitchers. A strikeout ended the inning, but the Cavaliers had taken a 3-0 lead.
Despite not getting a hit in the fourth, the Warriors still threatened. Farley and Qualls led off with back-to-back walks. The Cavalier pitcher fanned the next three consecutive Warrior batters ending that inning.
The Cavaliers threatened to increase their lead in the fifth, but the Warriors got out of the inning without a run scoring. The lead off batter reached on an error, went to second on an error on the pick off attempt and to third on a balk. He would later get thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch. Farley would come on to pitch to the final two batters in the inning.
The Warriors had one more threat in the game. After Cookeville added three runs in the top of the sixth on four hits, WCHS left a runner stranded at third in the bottom of the inning. Qualls took a 1-out walk, went to second on a wild pitch and to third on a ground ball, but was left stranded there.
Cookeville broke the game wide open in the seventh. They put six runs on the board with just three hits. The Warrior defense committed three errors in the inning. There was also a walk and a pitch hit a batter.
The Warriors went down in order in the seventh ending the game.
Tollison and Kelly led the Warriors at the plate with two hits each. Qualls was the only other Warrior with a hit in the game.
Kelly was not available to pitch as he is dealing with soreness in his arm, but is expected to be back on the mound soon.
WCHS used four pitchers in the game. Null worked 3 1/2 innings allowing three runs on three hits. He walked two batters. Brian Lambert faced five batters working in part of the fourth and the fifth. He did not allow a hit or a run, but walked one batter and had two balks. Adam Farley pitched two innings facing nine batters. He allowed five runs on four hits. Trent England worked one inning facing seven batters. He allowed four runs on three hits.
The Warrior defense committed six errors in the game and Cookeville had a total of 11 hits.
The Warriors, who are now 3-4 overall and 0-2 in the district, have a two-game series with Livingston this weekend. They will host the Wildcats Friday at 5 p.m. and will then travel to Livingston for a noon game on Saturday.