Tough day for Callaway
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
FRANKLIN – That could have gone better.
The Callaway Cavaliers made the short trip to Heard County on Tuesday afternoon hoping to get a win and wrap up the number two spot in Region 5-AA.
Instead, it was Heard County easing to a 10-0 victory in a game that was shortened to six innings because of the run rule.
Callaway (15-9 overall) fell to 9-4 in the region, while Heard County improved to 7-6 in region play.
They’ll play again on Friday in the region finale for both teams, and Callaway will host the doubleheader.
If Callaway wins one of the two games, it will secure the region’s number two spot, which would guarantee a home series in the state playoffs.
As far as Tuesday’s game, Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard said “they just outplayed us in every facet. They hit balls harder, they made defensive plays and we didn’t. They pitched it better, they caught it better, they coached better. They did it all.”
Hubbard added that “I didn’t think our enthusiasm or effort was good enough for a rivalry game.”
The resurgent Braves dropped their first six region games of the season, but they’ve now won seven in a row, and they have a chance to finish second if they sweep Friday’s doubleheader.
Callaway and Heard County have both secured two of the region’s four state-playoff spots.
“Whether it’s against Callaway or whoever, we just want to be playing well at the end of the year, before we go into the playoffs,” Heard County coach Trent Bianco said. “To do that against Callaway is great, but at the same time I know we’re about to get their best shot on Friday, because of the great job they do over there. So we’ve got to get back to work.”
Tray Owens did a lot of the damage from the Braves.
Owens not only pitched a six-inning no-hitter, but he also had three hits and three RBIs, and his solo home run highlighted a two-run first inning.
Mason Rollings also had three hits, and Tanner Collins had two hits and two RBIs.
Caden Rains added a double and an RBI, and Kellon Rollings had a hit and an RBI.
While the Cavaliers didn’t have any hits, they did have a couple of scoring opportunities.
In the second inning, Trent Sheppard’s hard-hit ball to right field was misplayed for a two-base error with no outs, but he was stranded at third.
In the fourth inning, Sheppard walked and Destin Patrick was hit by a pitch putting two men on, but the Cavaliers were unable to break through.
Wesley Marchman reached on a one-out walk in the sixth inning, but he didn’t advance any further.
The Braves took the lead with two runs in the first inning, and they broke it open with six runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Heard County scored two more runs in the sixth inning to bring the run rule into play.
Dawson Wright started for Callaway and pitched 3 2/3 innings, and Austin Barber went the rest of the way.
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