Henshaw Pitches Hurricanes Past Ooltewah, 5-1, in 5-AAA Tourney

Eight-Run Fifth (All Unearned) Helps Bradley Defeat McMinn, 10-5

Friday, May 2, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

Ooltewah’s Logan Fugate slammed East Hamilton pitching ace Matty Henshaw’s first offering over the center-field wall for a game-opening home run Friday night at A.C. “Bud” Ball Field.

That was the last damage Henshaw sustained.

The East Hamilton right-hander threw a five-hit complete game and the top-seeded Hurricanes took advantage of four errors to beat the defending District 5-AAA tournament champion Owls, 5-1, and advance to the winner’s bracket final on Sunday.

In an earlier game, No. 2 seed Bradley Central bombed McMinn County with an eight-run fifth inning – all the runs were unearned – and cruised past the Cherokees, 10-5, to set up a semifinal matchup against No. 3 seed Soddy-Daisy on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Hunter Rogers hit a two-run homer and Caleb Pace added a three-run triple to highlight the Bears’ big inning.

Seventh-seeded McMinn County plays No. 6 Walker Valley on Saturday at 4 p.m.

East Hamilton 5, Ooltewah 1: Henshaw wasn’t fazed by Fugate’s lightning-quick homer and simply went about shutting down the Owls over the next six innings. Fugate went 3-for-3, but the rest of Ooltewah’s lineup was 2-for-22 and the 2-5 hitters were 0-for-12.

“Matty did a nice job with his composure after the way things got started,” East Hamilton coach Steve Garland said. “Everybody knows he won’t light up a radar gun, but he’s got a lot of pitch-ability and any coach would like to have him.”

Henshaw allowed two runners in the second inning, but escaped without giving up a run. After that he put the clamps on almost all the Owls hitters – only Mitch Duncan and Kyle Kapherr had hits off Henshaw other than Fugate’s homer and two singles.

Following back-to-back singles by Duncan and Kapherr in the second, Henshaw retired 14 of the last 19 batters, including the final seven to close out the game.

“I felt like Logan saw a good pitch and hit it,” Henshaw said. “I just had to shake it off. You can’t let something like that get in your head.”

Instead, Henshaw was a mental nightmare for the Ooltewah hitters.

East Hamilton (22-13), which has won five in a row and six of its last seven games, got a run in the last of the first, but could have potentially scored more.

Ooltewah starter C.J. Carden walked Hunter Parker and hit Matt Milita and Nicholas Woods to load the bases. With one out Nick Fahler’s sacrifice fly scored Parker, but Henshaw grounded out to cut short the scoring opportunity.

That was about the last bullet Ooltewah (17-13) dodged against the Hurricanes, who have beaten the Owls three times this season.

Henshaw has won two of those matchups.

In the Hurricanes’ third, Milita got a one-out single and Woods became the third batter hit by Carden. Hunter Owen hit into a force out. Fahler singled to left to score Woods. Owen scooted to second, but when Fugate’s throw home got past catcher Brody Binder he took off for third. Carden, backing up the play at the plate, threw wildly past third and Owen scored as the ball sailed into left field.

Fahler, who kept running when throws started flying all over the ballpark, was cut down trying to score by shortstop Duncan’s on-the-mark throw to Binder for the third out.

But the Hurricanes, competing in their first 5-AAA tournament after four years in Class AA, had a 3-1 lead.

“You’re not going to beat a good team throwing the ball all over the place,” Owls coach Brian Hitchcox said. “It’s frustrating to see errors coming from miscommunication or non-communication. We messed up on so many little things I ran out of room on my scorecard writing them down.

“We’re young in the infield, but it’s May and we have to stop doing those things.”

East Hamilton added two insurance runs in the fifth on groundouts by Woods and Owen. Parker put down a sacrifice bunt, but was safe at first when Carden’s throw pulled first baseman Caleb Collins off the base. He scored on Owen’s grounder.

Garett Stone, who singled to left, eventually scored on Woods’ infielder grounder.

“While we didn’t knock the cover off the ball, we kept pressure on Ooltewah by playing small-ball and using our speed,” Garland said.

Bradley Central 10, McMinn County 5: The Bears (18-11) had their hands full with Cherokees left-hander Jake Lingerfelt for four innings.

Bradley’s lone run – it was unearned as well – over that stretch came on Jordan Timmons’ single to left in the fourth that scored designated hitter Logan Blackwell, who reached on an error that would have been the third out.

“We looked a little stale after being off for 10 days,” Bears coach Travis Adams said. “We were rusty and our approach at the plate showed that, but we made some adjustments and that was the key.”

But, the wheels fell off for Lingerfelt and the Cherokees (11-17) in the next inning.

Cal Pickel struck out and Pace lined out to short.

Baylor Terrell walked and Jacob Barnes reached safely on third baseman Tyler Biddle’s throwing error. Terrell scored on the misplay.

Rogers followed with his two-run home run – the first for Bradley all season. Blackwell walked and came home on the first of two doubles by shortstop Tanner Cox.

Cox scored on Timmons’ single. Chandler Duggan walked and Pickel was hit by a pitch. On a 2-2 delivery from reliever Javon Simpson, Pace ripped a bases-clearing triple to cap the eight-run outburst.

At that point all nine Bradley runs were unearned due to McMinn County errors.

“That big inning took the wind out of their sails,” Adams said. “Before Hunter’s home run we were in the dugout looking at each other trying to figure out what was going on. Hunter got a pitch, sat on it and that was big. We got a few more two-out hits and kept it going.”

Bradley Central got four of its eight hits in that uprising.

Timmons went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Cox was 2-for-2 with a pair of RBIs. Blackwell didn’t have a hit, but scored three times.

The Bears’ lone earned run came in the sixth when Blackwell walked and later scored on Cox’s second double.

That was plenty of offense for the Bears’ winning pitcher, starter Ty King. The right-hander is 6-0 and came into the game with a 1.16 ERA. King went five innings and gave up three hits and two runs. He struck out five and walked three.

Half of McMinn County’s six hits were doubles by Colby Eaton, Hayden Fesmire and Simpson. Fesmire’s two-bagger pushed a run home in the third.

Eaton doubled in the fifth and scored on Duggan’s fielding error at second.

Simpson started the Tribe’s sixth with his double and scored on Drew Godsey’s hit. Godsey eventually scored on a groundout and the final run resulted from reliever Seth Lee’s wild pitch.

“You’ve got to make routine plays to keep you in a game with a chance to win it,” McMinn County coach Matt Ray said. “We don’t make a routine play and that leads to eight unearned runs in that one inning. The only thing we could do after that was go to damage control.”

FRIDAY SUMMARIES

McMinn County                    001 013 0 – 5 6 2

Bradley Central                    000 181 x – 10 8 3

Lingerfelt, Simpson (5) and Fesmire; King, Lee (6) and Timmons, Lynn (6).

Ooltewah                               100 000 0 – 1 5 4

East Hamilton                       102 020 x – 5 5 0

Carden and Binder; Henshaw and Fahler.

SATURDAY SCHEDULE

Soddy-Daisy vs. Bradley Central, 1 p.m.

Walker Valley vs. McMinn County, 4 p.m.

SUNDAY SCHEDULE

Cleveland vs. Soddy-Daisy-Bradley loser, 1 p.m.

Ooltewah vs. Walker Valley-McMinn County loser, 4 p.m.

East Hamilton vs. Soddy-Daisy-Bradley winner, 7 p.m.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)

 


Lookouts Sink Suns Friday, 4-2. Keeping Playoff Hopes Alive

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Chattanooga Lookouts broke a 1-1 tie with three seventh-inning runs, and won a 4-2 series finale over the Jacksonville Suns in front of a season-high 7,873 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The Lookouts are now 69-61 overall. They are 33-25 in the second half, 2.0 games behind Montgomery, and 2.5 games behind Jackson with ten games remaining ... (click for more)

Scores: Friday Night Football

Friday Night Scores:  Finals East Ridge 34 Brainerd 6 Rhea Co. 60 McMinn Co. 7 Ooltewah 38 Signal Mountain 7 Sequatchie Co. 61 Whitwell 20 McCallie 49 Blackman 10 Baylor 47 Red Bank 7 Marion Co. 58 Grundy Co. 6 CCS 35 Lookout Valley 0 South Pittsburg 40 Bledsoe Co. 7 Boyd-Buchanan 28 King's Academy 24 Sale Creek 48 Concord Christian 6 ... (click for more)

Maryville Police Department's Kenny Moats Slain

Officer Kenny Moats of the Maryville Police Department was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call on Thursday.  Officer Moats was with the department for over nine years and was currently serving as a drug enforcement agent. Assistant Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security David Purkey said, "It is with heavy heart that I express my condolences ... (click for more)

Auto Burglary Thwarted In Bradley County

A man has been arrested in Bradley County, after attempting to steal a vehicle. On Thursday, Deputy Jessica Morgan observed a silver truck in a church parking lot on South Lee Highway. While checking the premises, Dep. Morgan observed a male wearing a black tank top and red shorts exiting the rear window of the cab into the bed of the truck. Once the suspect noticed Dep. Morgan, ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Gold & Ivory Tablecloth

Not long ago, in my morning reading, I happened across an obscure tale about a special tablecloth. And, as things like this are more and more wont to do, I was instantly blessed by this story. As I tracked down its origin, I learned it originally appeared in a 1954 edition of Reader’s Digest. Written by the Rev. Howard C. Schade, who at the time was the pastor of the First Reformed ... (click for more)