McCallie’s perfect run to open the season finally came to an end Wednesday night at the hands of Ooltewah as the Owls pushed across a trio of runs in the bottom of the sixth and held on for a 4-3 victory over the Blue Tornado.
After reeling off 10 straight wins to open the year, McCallie walked a tightrope all night, and it finally bit them in the end.
The Owls put runners on base in every inning, but the Blue Tornado wiggled out of the first four innings before Ooltewah finally managed to push a run across in the fifth. Bryson Smith took a hit by pitch and promptly stole second base before Fisher Perry delivered a clutch RBI-single to left for a 1-0 lead. Ooltewah had a chance to break it open when back-to-back walks loaded the bases but a strikeout left them loaded. Ooltewah left 11 men on base for the night, including the bases loaded three times.
The lead was short-lived, however, as the big blue came out swinging in the sixth to finally get to Owl starter Eli Smith. Kyle Berry walked and Jaden Copeland ripped an RBI-double to knot it at 1-all. Carter Hewitt chased Smith with a run-scoring single which brought in Patrick Clarkson from Owls’ pen. Clarkson hit a batter and walked another to load the bases, but escaped with a fly out to end the frame.
The Owls, fresh off their first district sweep of the year, answered in the bottom of the sixth thanks to two big errors by McCallie. Nick Sullivan led off with a walk, one of nine free bases from four McCallie pitchers. A sac bunt moved him to second and an error allowed him to score to tie it at 2-2. Another walk and another misplay of Perry’s grounder gave the Owls a 3-2 lead. A wild pitch made it 4-2.
Clarkson made it interesting in the seventh with a pair of hit batsmen to open the frame. A ground out moved both runners into scoring position and a sac fly by Copeland got it to within 4-3, but Clarkson struck out the final hitter to put it in the books.
Noah Huling had two hits for Ooltewah and Perry drove in two runs.
Baylor 9, McMinn Co. 0: Henry Godbout popped a pair of homers to back a strong pitching effort from Patrick Johnson as the Red Raiders improved to 8-2 on the year. Godbout led off the game with a homer off Ollie Akens, and Baylor added four more runs in the second and three in the third to make for a rough afternoon for the Akens, who surrendered 10 of Baylor’s 12 hits in four innings.
Jay Dill hit a three-run homer in the second inning and Cooper Kinney plated a run with a single for 5-0 lead. Jonathan Larrea added an RBI-single in the third and Godbout launched a two-run shot in the inning to up it to 8-0. Johnson allowed just three hits in six innings of work and struck out eight on the day. Andrew Ronne had two of the Cherokees' three hits. Vita Valincius was 3-for-3 for the Red Raiders including a triple and Larrea had two hits.