Cavaliers split doubleheader with the champs

Published 4:19 pm Monday, March 6, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

HOGANSVILLE – They hung tough with the champs.

The Callaway Cavaliers hosted the defending Class AA state-champion Westminster Wildcats on Saturday, and they split a doubleheader.

After Callaway won the first game 14-8, it was Westminster rebounding to split the doubleheader with a 9-4 victory.

Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard said the challenge now is for the team to develop some consistency from game to game.

“I felt like we had a lack of focus in the second game,” Hubbard said. “We gave them some early runs. We were pleased to win Game 1.”

In the first game, it looked like the Cavaliers could be headed for a drama-free victory after they took a 9-1 lead in the fifth inning, but the Wildcats fought back and got within one with six runs in the top of the sixth.

The Cavaliers regained control with five runs in the bottom of the sixth, and Chandler Lott and Drake Wade combined to retire the Wildcats in order in the top of the sixth.

Josh Hanson pitched five superb innings to get the win, and he also hit a solo home run, and that was part of a big offensive effort that featured three RBI hits from Lott.

The onslaught began in the second inning.

Wade reached on an error leading off and stole second, and after Dylan Johnson singled and Slone Raper were hit by pitches to load the bases, Lott’s base hit brought in two runs to give the Cavaliers the early lead.

After Westminster scored an unearned run in the top of the second, Callaway answered with Hanson’s solo home run in the bottom of the inning.

The Cavaliers pushed two more runs across in the third inning.

Johnson led off with a walk and later scored on a wild pitch, and Kyle Campbell’s sacrifice fly brought in Raper who had reached on a double.

The Cavaliers kept pouring it on the fourth inning with four runs to build a 9-1 lead.

Milton Turner got things started with a base hit, and Wade reached on a bunt single.

Ben Griffin reached on an error to drive in a run, and Wade scored on a wild pitch to make it a 7-1 game.

Lott and Campbell had back-to-back RBI singles later in the inning, and Callaway led 9-1.

In the sixth inning, Westminster showed off its offensive punch with five hits, including a three-run home run.

Lott, who relieved Kyle Campbell with one out in the inning, gave up the three-run home run, but he rebounded to get a strikeout to end the threat and keep the Cavaliers ahead by one.

The Cavaliers took advantage of some wildness by the Wildcats to add to their lead in the bottom of the sixth.

After Lott’s RBI single, Campbell, Hanson and Turner all walked with the bases loaded, and Callaway led 14-8.

Lott got the first two outs in the top of the seventh before Wade retired the final Westminster batter.

In the second game the Cavaliers were trailing by four when they scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to get within two.

Westminster went up 9-2 before Callaway scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to get closer.

Jabari Smith had two hits for the Cavaliers, Wade had a double in the two-run seventh inning for Callaway, and Griffin, Raper, Lott and Campbell each had hits.

Callaway (5-5), which had won three in a row before falling in Saturday’s final game, will continue its non-region schedule with a road game against Troup on Monday.

OF NOTE: For more photos, check out