Callaway advances to second round
Published 12:40 am Thursday, April 25, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It’s on to round two.
The Callaway Cavaliers took care of Banks County on Wednesday, taking both ends of the doubleheader to advance to the second round of the Class AA state tournament.
After winning the opening game 11-1, Callaway held off Banks County 8-6 in the second game to keep its season alive.
“I’m proud of them,” Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard said. “I thought we prepared really well. I really did. We’ll have to do the same thing next week.”
In the second and deciding game, the Cavaliers scored four key insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning to go up 8-2, and three of those runs came home in unconventional fashion.
With the bases loaded, the Cavaliers scored three runs on a wild pitch.
The pitch got away from the catcher, and Banks County committed two throwing errors after that, allowing Drake Wade, Trent Sheppard and Braelin Mitchell all to score and push the lead to six.
Those runs proved to be particularly important considering what happened in the bottom of the seventh.
Banks County, which was the home team on the scoreboard in game two, scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh and had the tying runs on base when relief pitcher Jabari Smith got a fly-out to end it.
“I feel like we fought hard,” said senior Bryce Kurian, who had three hits in game two. “Even the young guys that came in like Tucker (Starling) and (Justin) Moore, they fought hard.”
Moore, a freshman, was the starting pitcher in game two, and he threw 5-1 innings to get the win.
After Starling got two outs, Smith entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the seventh. Smith set down all three batters he faced to get the hard-earned save.
Kurian led the way offensively with his three hits, and he scored a pair of runs.
Sheppard had two hits and two RBIs, and Walt Stewart had an RBI double that gave the Cavaliers the lead for good in the fourth inning.
Mitchell had a hit, and he was also intentionally walked twice.
Drake Wade had a hit, and Smith walked and scored a run.
The first game was all Callaway.
In a game shortened to six innings because of the run rule, the Cavaliers eased to an 11-1 win.
Callaway jumped on Banks County for six runs in the first inning, and that was plenty of support for pitchers Dawson Wright and Tucker Starling, who combined for the seven-hitter.
Wright worked the first five innings and held Banks County to six hits, and Starling threw a scoreless sixth inning.
Patrick had two hits and three RBIs, Sheppard had two hits with a double and two RBIs, and Smith had a double and two RBIs.
Wesley Marchman had two hits and two runs scored, Wade had a hit and an RBI, Stewart and Kurian each drove in a run, and Mitchell had a hit, two walks, and three runs scored.
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