Wild win for Cavaliers over Grangers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was Callaway’s night.
The Cavaliers seized the lead with four runs in the top of the fifth inning, and they held on for an 8-5 victory over the rival LaGrange Grangers in a game that had a little bit of everything.
LaGrange loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning and had the winning run at the plate, but Callaway’s Drake Wade got a groundout to end it.
Wade secured the save in relief of Justin Moore, who threw four terrific innings after coming into the game in the third inning.
Wade, who pitched one inning last season, was thrown into a high-pressure situation in the seventh inning.
After Moore hit a pair of batters, Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard made the decision to go with Wade.
“We were going to win or lose with him,” Hubbard said.
Wade struck out the first batter he faced before walking Mason Green to load the bases.
Unfazed, Wade got a groundout to third baseman Wesley Marchman to end the game and secure the dramatic win.
“I was a little nervous at first, but I’m glad he called on me to do that,” said Wade, who usually plays shortstop.
It was Callaway’s final tune-up before the start of Region 5-AA play next week against Bremen.
“By no means was it a pretty game either way,” Hubbard said. “I’m glad of the way we competed.”
It was a frustrating loss for the Grangers, who made things interesting late before dropping their seventh straight game.
“We’re doing the things that it takes to lose games,” Hubbard said. “We had two or three base-running blunders. They made mistakes, too. It wasn’t like either team played really clean, but both teams played really hard.”
The Cavaliers made the most of their eight hits.
Brooks Bledsoe and Braelin Mitchell each had two hits and two RBIs, and Trent Sheppard had an RBI triple to cap the four-run fifth inning
Wesley Marchman and Destin Patrick also had RBI hits during the fifth inning.
On the mound, Dawson Wright started and pitched 2 1/3 innings, and only one of the four runs he allowed was earned.
Moore entered the game with one out in the third inning, and he was outstanding.
During his four innings, Moore held LaGrange to two hits and one unearned run.
“He grinded,” Hubbard said of Moore. “He kept them where they were at. It wasn’t always pretty, but he grinded. And he was probably about out of gas.”
With Moore’s tank empty, Wade finished things off, working around a two-out walk to get the hard-earned save.
For LaGrange, senior catcher Trent Bailey had three of his team’s seven hits.
Charles Crawford, Wesley Kuhn and Walton Lanier each had a hit and an RBI, Cole Sanders drove in a run, and Will Flowers had a hit.
Brant Williams was LaGrange’s starting pitcher, and he threw the first five innings.
It was a tough-luck outing for Williams, who gave up eight runs, but only four of them were earned.
Landon Tucker pitched two scoreless innings to give the Grangers a chance to come back.
The Cavaliers were trailing by two when they tied it with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth.
After Patrick’s bloop single made it a 4-3 game, Marchman’s RBI double pulled the Cavaliers even.
Callaway seized the lead with four runs in the fifth inning.
With two men on, Bledsoe got a bunt down for a base hit, and both Bryce Kurian and Wade scored when the throw to first sailed into right field.
Mitchell’s hard-hit single to center field drove in another run, and Sheppard tripled to give the Cavaliers an 8-4 lead.
LaGrange got one of those runs back in the fifth inning.
Bailey reached on a hustle infield single, and his courtesy runner, Logan Karcher, later scored on a wild pitch.
The Grangers came to bat in the seventh inning needing three runs to tie it, and they made things interesting.
Alford and Bailey were both hit by pitches, necessitating the pitching change.
Green earned a walk on four pitches to load the bases, but the comeback bid fell short.
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