Cavaliers fall in game three
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
THOMASVILLE – There was no game three magic for the Callaway Cavaliers this week.
Last week, Callaway rallied from three runs down in the final inning to beat Pepperell 7-6 in game three of their state-playoff series.
On Thursday afternoon, Callaway was in another game three, but the result was a different one this time around.
Facing home-standing Thomasville, Callaway was unable to get anything going offensively on the way to a 6-0 loss in the third-round series.
The setback ended what was an exceptional season for Callaway, which finished second in Region 5-AA before beating Union County and Pepperell in the state playoffs.
The Cavaliers ended up one victory short of making it to the semifinals of the state playoffs for a third straight season.
Callaway and Thomasville split a rain-delayed doubleheader on Wednesday, setting the stage for the winner-take-all game three.
The series began on Tuesday, but they only played one inning, and the game was tied 1-1.
The series resumed on Wednesday morning, with Callaway winning a wild game 5-4, and Thomasville answered with a 4-3 win later in the day.
In Thursday’s series finale, Callaway had no answer for Thomasville pitcher Ben Rawlings, who threw a four-hit shutout while striking out six batters.
The Cavaliers’ best scoring opportunity came in the top of the third inning when they loaded the bases with one out trailing 1-0.
After consecutive singles by Andrew Locke, Kaden Rogers and Blake Sheppard to load the bases, Rawlings got a strikeout and a flyout to end the threat.
The Bulldogs broke things open with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-0 lead, and they capped the scoring with two runs in the sixth inning.
Bryce Hubbard started for the Cavaliers on the mound and pitched 3 2/3 innings, and Jacob Miles, Jimmie Dukes and Garrett Huckleberry got the final seven outs.
Huckleberry closed things out with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Cavaliers should be well-positioned to make another deep playoff run with many of the top players returning, including Justin Moore, Tucker Starling and Hubbard, who started the three playoff games this week.