Senior comes through for Cavaliers

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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Daily News

When his number was called, Callaway’s Jackson Huckleberry was ready.

Monday’s game between Callaway and Bowdon was tied at 2-2 in the fourth inning when Huckleberry was sent to the plate as a pinch-hitter with the go-ahead run on second base.

Huckleberry got a pitch he could handle, and he drove the ball into right field, and Kaden Rogers scored to give Callaway the lead.

Huckleberry’s RBI single was part of a three-run inning that gave the Cavaliers (1-1) a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, and they beat the Red Devils 6-3 for their first win of the season.

“I think that at-bat changed momentum, I really do,” said Dusty Hubbard, Callaway’s head coach. “It was 2-2 at the time. His at-bat was key. I’m so happy for him. He’s been working and working to get an opportunity, and he came through.”

Huckleberry was focused on having a solid at-bat and making sure he got the job done.

“I just had to sit back and drive it through first and second base,” Huckleberry said. “I knew that the runner on second would most likely score with a hard hit, so I was just sitting back and waiting for that right pitch.”

Huckleberry’s hit helped make a winner of starting pitcher Justin Moore, who threw 5 2/3 solid innings before Dawson Wright got the final four outs for the save.

Hubbard was pleased with what he saw from Moore, who is coming off an outstanding freshman season.

“He attacked today,” Hubbard said. “He hadn’t really done that this year. We talked to him about not being so finesse, and he did that. He’s got a good fastball.”

Offensively, the Cavaliers made the most of their six hits.

Leadoff hitter Wesley Marchman had two RBI singles, Will Cavender had two hits and an RBI on a bunt during the fourth inning, Rogers had a base hit with two runs scored, and Tucker Starling had a bunt single.

Trailing 1-0, Callaway tied it with a run in the second inning.

Rogers reached on a one-out error, and after stealing second and advancing to third on a wild pitch, he scored on another wild pitch.

The Cavaliers took the lead with a single run in the bottom of the third inning.

Cavender got things started with an infield single, and after moving up a base on a wild pitch, he scored on Marchman’s base hit.

Bowdon tied it with a solo home run from Brandon Sheets in the top of the fourth, but Callaway reclaimed the lead with a three-run fourth inning.

With one out, Rogers kick-started the rally with his second infield single, and Starling reached on a bunt hit.

That set the stage for Huckleberry, who’s RBI single put the Cavaliers back on top.

Cavender then came through with a bunt to plate another run, and Marchman’s RBI single capped the three-run rally.

The Cavaliers capped their scoring with a run in the fifth inning.

Luke Swann reached on an error leading off, and courtesy runner C.J. Stephens later scored on a wild pitch to push the lead to 6-2.

Bowdon pushed a run across in the top of the sixth, and Wright entered the game in relief with two outs and a runner on.

After walking a batter and hitting another one, Wright got a groundout to end the threat and keep the Cavaliers ahead by three.

Bowdon got a leadoff double in the seventh inning, but Wright retired the next three batters to end it.

The Cavaliers are coming another memorable season that ended with a hard-fought loss to the Rockmart Yellow Jackets in the Class AA semifinals.

Callaway had the lead in the third and deciding game of that series, but Rockmart rallied for a 7-5 victory to advance.

The Cavaliers were hit hard by graduation, and these early games are giving Hubbard an opportunity to get a feel for his team. Callaway is scheduled to host Upson-Lee on Friday before playing a home-doubleheader against Jeff Davis and Vidalia on Saturday.

“We have big shoes to fill every year, especially this year with losing 10 seniors and most positions,” Huckleberry said. “Right now we’re trying to figure it out.”