Everyone was available for the Callaway Cavaliers.
Heading into Thursday’s Region 4-AAA showdown against Chapel Hill, Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard had every pitcher on the staff available to him.
Turns out, he only needed one.
Junior right-hander Perry Keith came through with a brilliant performance as Callaway beat Chapel Hill 8-1 to remain atop the region standings.
The Cavaliers (12-3 overall) improved to 7-1 in the region, and they’re one game ahead of Central-Carroll.
Chapel Hill, which won the region championship a year ago, now has three region losses, and it has lost both regular-season meetings with Callaway.
“Perry was really good,” Hubbard said. “He was a groundball machine. He only struck out four, but he just kept them off the barrel.”
Of the 27 outs Keith recorded, 10 of them were groundballs to the second baseman.
“Perry just threw strikes, and got groundball after groundball,” Hubbard said. “And we ate ‘em up. We didn’t make an error, so that was good to see.”
Keith only three 82 pitches, and he had three innings where he was in single digits in pitches.
“He got ahead early in the count,” Hubbard said. “He was just really good.”
The Cavaliers got all of the runs they needed in the first inning.
The Cavaliers already had one run in, and they had a runner on third with no outs.
Three batters later, that man was still standing on third base.
“We kind of had that feeling that we’re missing a chance,” Hubbard said.
C.J. Gallatin then came through with a big hit to give the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead, and they rolled from there.
“C.J., with two outs, had a great at-bat and with two outs lined a single to right,” Hubbard said.
Callaway added three more runs in the second inning to go up 3-0, and it was an 8-0 game when Chapel Hill scored its lone run in the seventh inning.
“We may have played a game where we did a couple of things better, but I’ll tell you this, we haven’t had a game where our energy level and our excitement and our enthusiasm to play was better,” Hubbard said. “We went in with a playoff atmosphere.”
Chase Freeman and Dylan Johnson each had two hits for the Cavaliers, who had 10 hits as a team.
With Keith pitching, Reeves Payne started at second base, and Hubbard said he did an outstanding job.
Josh Hanson also ended up playing at second base later in the game.
“Those two guys were really big for us defensively,” Hubbard said.
Callaway will play three games next week, all on the road.
Callaway plays at Sandy Creek on Monday, at Northside on Tuesday, and at Woodward Academy on Thursday.