CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Walker Valley left-hander Matthew Simmons threw a four-hit shutout and the Mustangs beat Ooltewah, 4-0, forcing a second-and-deciding championship game in the District 5-AAA baseball tournament at the Toby McKenzie Baseball Complex.
The Owls came out flat in the first game and Simmons never let them off the deck.
Simmons, bedeviling Ooltewah with a tantalizing off-speed curveball, didn’t allow more than one hit in any inning.
He yielded singles to Drew Williams in the second inning, T.J. Binder in the fourth, a double to Drew Toth in the fifth, and another single to Cody Rhinehart in the sixth.
Only Toth was able to reach third base, advancing on a wild pitch. He was stranded there when Brody Binder popped out to end the inning – the ball bounced off catcher Josh Poole’s mitt and second baseman Jared Broome snagged it.
Simmons struck out six and walked one in a superb performance that kept the Mustangs, the district’s regular-season champions, alive.
Walker Valley struck for three runs in the third off Owls starter Jared Ryan and reliever Zach Thompson.
Poole doubled – that was one of four doubles for the Mustangs – and moved to third on Broome’s sacrifice bunt. He scored on Bobby Towne’s single to left field. With two outs, Chris Caffrey doubled to left-center. Caleb Longley greeted Thompson with a slow roller to second baseman Kyle Kapherr, who beat the throw to first and both runners scored for a 3-0 lead.
Walker Valley added a seventh-inning run off Logan Fugate, the third Ooltewah pitcher, when Broome singled, went to second on a groundout and scored on Simmons’ hit to right.
Walker Valley collected eight hits, including four doubles, off Ooltewah pitchers.
Walker Valley 003 000 1 – 4 9 0
Ooltewah 000 000 0 – 0 4 1
Simmons and Poole; Ryan, Thompson (3), Fugate (6) and T.J. Binder.
(Contact Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org)