Lott shines for Cavaliers
Published 11:06 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
When Chandler Lott is on the mound, it’s good news for the Callaway Cavaliers.
Each time Lott has been given the ball this season he has been dominant, and even in his one loss against Troup he was superb, giving up one run on two hits in a 4-0 setback.
On a chilly Wednesday afternoon, Lott was back on the hill against Upson-Lee, and it was more of the same.
The senior right-hander had his way with Upson-Lee’s batters, giving up one hit in six innings while striking out nine as Callaway cruised to an 8-0 victory.
Dawson Wright, who has emerged as a key member of the pitching staff, threw a perfect seventh inning with a pair of strikeouts.
Callaway improved to 7-4, and it will host Handley on Friday before opening its Region 5-AA schedule next week.
Callaway delivered a complete performance at its home park on Wednesday.
While Lott was untouchable, Callaway banged out eight hits and had one of its highest run totals of the season.
Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard was pleased with the effort, but he’s hoping the team figures out a way to be just as effective when other pitchers are on the mound.
“I talked to the guys about this same thing, we’re a different team when he pitches,” Hubbard said. “We believe when he pitches. We believe we can beat anybody. But we’ve got to learn to do that with whoever’s pitching. We’re 7-1 when he and Wesley (Marchman) pitches, but we’re 0-3 in games they don’t pitch. We feel good about those two, but we’ve got to find a third guy.”
That third guy could end up being Wright, who has been getting it done when called upon.
“He’s probably right now leading the pack to be our third starter, but we’ve got to extend him a little bit,” Hubbard said. “And we’re starting to do that with him. He’s throwing batting practice and bullpen.”
Lott was coming off a complete-game two-hitter in a 5-0 victory over LaGrange last week.
He was just as dazzling against Upson-Lee.
The Knights managed one base hit against Lott, and they also reached twice on walks.
As was the case against LaGrange last week, the defense behind Lott was superb.
“That’s always what I depend on,” Lott said of the defense. “Some people think when I go up there I’m trying to strike everybody out. If I’ve got a runner on first, all I’m trying to do is get my middle infield a play. If I get a groundball, I’ve got confidence they’re going to get a double play. I can trust them.”
Offensively, it was a balanced effort, with eight different players reaching base.
Among that group was leadoff hitter Drake Wade, who had two hits, two RBIs and a run scored.
“He is our spark plug,” Hubbard said of Wade. “When we play well offensively, he’s usually in the middle of it.
“That’s the way it goes. And we had some good hits in the middle of the order.”
Braelin Mitchell, Callaway’s number five hitter, had a two-run single, and Kyle Campbell had a double and a run scored.
Lott also produced at the plate with two hits, and the man who ran for him, Buster Perry, scored a pair of runs.
Jabari Smith and Marchman each had hits, and Destin Patrick had an RBI.
After taking the lead with two runs in the bottom of the first, Callaway broke it open with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.
With one out, Mitchell reached on an error, Smith singled, and Marchman was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Destin Patrick, who was in the game as a pinch-hitter, was hit by a pitch to drive in a run, and Smith then scored on a wild pitch to give Callaway a 4-0 lead.
With two outs, Wade lined the ball into left field for a two-run single, and the Cavaliers led 6-0.
The Cavaliers padded their lead with two runs in the fifth inning.
Lott led off with a single, and Campbell doubled to put men on second and third.
Next up was Mitchell, and he ripped the ball up the middle for a two-run single, and the Cavaliers were ahead 8-0.
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