Dominic Mackaluso’s solo homer to deep center field proved to be the difference in a back-and-forth affair between District 5AAA rivals as Ooltewah rallied, and then held on for a 6-5 victory at East Hamilton on Tuesday.
The win gave the Owls a sweep of the Hurricanes and it came after falling behind 4-1 through five innings.
The Canes had finally managed to solve Ooltewah starter Isaac Hughes in the fifth as Jax Phillips led off with just the third hit of the game off the Owls’ lefty starter. Back-to-back doubles followed by Jackson Fletcher and Austin Wolcott with the latter plating two runs. An error and walk loaded the bases for Gray Williams, who grounded to second to push across a third run. The relay on the attempted double play ball misfired, though, allowing East Hamilton to make it 4-1.
Ooltewah responded with a four-run inning of its own in the sixth to take a 5-4 lead. Andrew Zettel singled and Harrison Mills doubled before a hit batsmen loaded the bases. Two wild pitches scored two runs, and an error pushed across the third and Bryson Smith’s run-scoring single gave the Owls the lead.
Zach Cates came in to relieve Hughes at that point and got a 1-2-3 sixth inning and Mackaluso gave him some breathing room with his homer in the top of the seventh. Fletcher got one last rally going for the Canes with a single to open the bottom of the seventh and scooted to second on a wild pitch. A sac fly got him to third and Chase Roberts’ ground out plated him to make it 6-5. Cates then got the final out on a pop up.
Hughes got his third district win with five innings of work, allowing four hits and striking out seven. Williams was the hard luck loser for East Hamilton, going five and a third with eight Ks and six hits allowed. Smith was 3-for-3 for the Owls with an RBI and Mills had a double amongst his two hits. Fisher Perry had an RBI as well. Fletcher had two knocks for the Canes and Wolcott drove in a pair.
Cleveland 4, Walker Valley 0: Hayden Sells was magnificent for the Blue Raiders, chopping up the Mustangs with a three-hit complete-game shutout. Sells struck out 10 on the night to help Cleveland get a split in the series. The Blue Raiders only managed three hits themselves, but made the most of them combined with a disciplined plate approach.
Cleveland got off to a 2-0 lead in the third after a pair of walks put runners on board.
Hayden Tinsley got the first walk and wound up stealing third base and home plate for a 1-0 lead. Jonathan Powers delivered an RBI-hit to produce the second run. Will Godwin added a third run in the fourth frame after drawing a walk, and taking second and third on wild pitches. Ben Gray then delivered a timely run-scoring single. In the sixth, a pair of walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases and Ethan Jones lofted a sac fly to make it 4-0.
Walker Valley had a couple of chances shot down in the sixth and seventh innings.
Sells gave up a single and walk in the sixth but got a strikeout to end the inning, and Godwin made a nice play in right to thwart any hopes in the seventh. Ryan Lay led off with a single and Nate Curtis laced a single to right and Godwin threw out Lay trying to take third on the hit.
McCallie 6, Soddy Daisy 1: The Blue Tornado remained unbeaten, moving to 10-0 on the year as three McCallie pitchers combined for a three-hitter. Nic Mirabella got the win with four innings worth, allowing two hits and whiffing six. Brock Ragsdale struck out four more and Evan Winnie closed it.
Carter Hewitt had the big stick for the Blues, singling in a run in the first inning and adding a two-run homer in the fifth. Kyle Berry, Austin Breedlove, and Jaden Copeland each had two hits as well as McCallie banged out 11 hits. Will Ackerman, Landon Maynor and Noah Ferguson each had a hit for the Trojans.
McMinn County 6-2
Walker Valley 5-3
Bradley Central 3-3
Soddy Daisy 2-4
East Hamilton 1-5
Next Up Monday/Tuesday April 12-13:
Bradley vs Walker Valley
Ooltewah vs Cleveland
Soddy Daisy vs East Hamilton
McMinn Co bye week
Signal Mountain 10, Red Bank 0: The Eagles notched their fourth shutout of the year as Hunter Davis struck out 12 of 15 outs and gave up just three hits. Signal Mountain scored seven runs in the first inning and never looked back. Braden Casner and Ben Timblin each had two hits and RBIs while Sam Witherspoon drove in two runs as well.
Boyd Buchanan 20, Bradley Knights 4: The Bucs hit seven home runs including Joey Lockmiller’s grand slam. Jacob Pickett hit a pair of bombs and drove in four runs, while Connor Beard, Brodie Johnston, Will Perry and Cooper Jones all hit dingers. Pickett had three hits while Logan McBryar, Johnston, and Perry each added two knocks in the rout.
Marion Co 9, CCS 1: The Warriors threw up a pair of crooked number innings as Austin Henderson doubled, tripled and singled while driving in four runs for the winners. Aiden Jolly and Blaine Anderson each had two hits as Marion lashed out 10 hits in the win. Henry Horne led CCS with two hits and an RBI.