Cavaliers open region play with win

Published 12:16 am Wednesday, March 15, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

HOGANSVILLE – The Callaway Cavaliers spotted the visiting Temple Tigers an early lead, but they stormed back to take an 8-1 victory in the Region 5-AAAA baseball opener for both teams.

The Cavaliers (8-7) were down 1-0 when they scored three runs in the bottom of the third to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Chandler Lott pitched five solid innings to get the win, and Kyle Campbell worked two shutout innings to finish it.

“I thought today was probably the cleanest game we’ve played all year,” said Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard, whose team has won three in a row. “I thought we were good defensively, I thought we swung the bats good. I thought we ran the bases well.”

Temple scored a run on two hits in the first inning, but it didn’t do much after that against Lott, who struck out 11 in five innings.

Lott struck out 10 of the final 11 batters he faced before giving way to Campbell.

“His velocity was down to start, but he came back,” Hubbard said of Lott. “He probably just didn’t get as loose as needed to be on a cold day. And once your adrenaline starts flowing, too, that helps.”

Campbell retired six of the seven batters he faced, and a two-out walk in the seventh inning didn’t hurt him.

“I was fairly fresh when I got in, so I was feeling pretty good,” said Campbell, who was the catcher for the first five innings.

Campbell has been catching Lott for the past few seasons, and the two transferred to Callaway before the school year.

“We transferred in together. We played ball together last year,” Campbell said. “So I’ve got to see him mature, and see how much of a picture he’s become. If he’s hitting his spots, he’s hard to hit.”

Lott not only got the win, but he also had a big day at the plate with three hits, and he was hit by a pitch.

Campbell had two hits and a walk, and Dylan Johnson was on base three times with two walks and a hit.

Josh Hanson added two hit with a double from the number nine spot in the order, Slone Raper had an RBI double, Braelin Mitchell and Drake Wade each had hits, Ben Griffin reached twice on walks, and Milton Turner had a sacrifice fly.

After being held without a run in the first two innings, Callaway broke through in the bottom of the third.

Wade and Campbell reached on one-out singles, and they both moved up on a double steal.

After Wade scored on a wild pitch and Dylan Johnson walked, Raper’s groundout drove in another run.

Lott capped the three-run inning with an RBI single.

The Cavaliers busted it open with four runs in the fourth inning.

Hanson led off with a double, and Campbell drove him in with an RBI double to push the lead to 4-1.

Johnson and Raper followed with RBI singles to give Callaway a 6-1 lead, and after Lott reached on his third hit of the game, Mitchell drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Callaway plated its final run in the sixth inning.

Lott was hit by a pitch leading off, and Turner’s sacrifice fly with two outs capped the scoring.

On Monday, Callaway went on the road and beat Manchester 12-5.

Freshman Wesley Marchman gave Callaway a lift with 2 2/3 innings of relief after he had to enter the game in the first inning.

Hanson pitched three innings, and Austin Barber threw the seventh inning.

Johnson was one of the offensive stars for Callaway with four hits, including a triple and a double.

Griffin had a home run for the Cavaliers in the sixth inning after Drake Wade had reached on a double.

Griffin also had a base hit and a walk, and he scored three runs.

Mitchell had two hit with a double, Raper also had a pair of hits, and Jabari Smith and Lott each had a base hit and a walk.

Callaway will visit Temple on Friday for a doubleheader, with the first game beginning at 4:30 p.m.

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