Cleveland Wins Twice In Trojan Classic Action

  • Saturday, April 20, 2024
  • Joe Cannon

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- After wrapping up District 5-4A regular season play Thursday, Cleveland turned right around to take a pair of wins in the annual Trojan Classic.

After shutting down seventh-ranked Green Hill 1-0 Friday in Evensville, behind a two-hit complete-game mound effort from senior Jack McBrayer tossing a complete-game, the Blue Raiders (17-11) handed the Hawks (18-4) just their fourth loss of the season.

Mother Nature forced a change of venue to their own Bill Talley Stadium Saturday, as Cleveland stroked a trio of triples in a dozen hits in an 11-2 victory over 2023 State Sectional qualifier Shelbyville (15-10).

The Raiders will wrap up the regular season this week with road trips to Ooltewah Tuesday and Polk County Wednesday.

RAIDERS 1, HAWKS 0

After giving up a single to open the game and a one-out walk, McBrayer struck out eight while facing just one batter over the minimum the rest of the way.

The senior transfer from East Hamilton has had a strong impact on the Raider success on the mound, as well as being the team's starting shortstop.

McBrayer is second on the team in innings pitched with 24 in nine appearances, including three starts, for a 2-2 records and a save. He has struck out 29 while posting a 2.92 earned run average.

Usually batting clean up, he is also hitting .300 with a .479 OBP, with 20 hits and 18 RBI, plus he has scored 14 times.

Cleveland scored the lone run of the night when senior Mycah Jordan opened the bottom of the first with a single.

The Virginia Tech signee then stole second and moved to third on a sac bunt by Nolan Copeland, before coming home on a RBI-ground out to the right side by Tusculum commit Cutter Womack.

River Briggs had the only other Raider safety with a single to open the bottom of the third.

Green Hill hurler L Bowles (no first name listed) struck out four and walked Andrew Wenger and Womack for the only other Raider base runners as neither team committed a fielding error.

RAIDERS 11, EAGLES 2

After Friday's tight battle, Cleveland first-year head coach Brent Tucker was able to get 17 players Saturday's game, with 11 getting on base at least once, another driving in a run and two others scoring a run apiece.

The Raiders scored often and early, putting up 3-spots in the first and third frames, play two each in the fourth and sixth and a solo score in the second.

In a preview of things to come, Jordan ripped a shot to center field to start the first home at bat and turned on the after burners for a triple and then was able to race home on an error by the Shelbyville catcher to complete the circuit.

Briggs and Womack followed with back-to-back singles with the former coming in on a sac fly by McBrayer and the latter on a ground out by Wenger.

In the second, McBrayer delivered a two-out single to plate Briggs, who had "walked the line."

In the third, Collin Stuart drew a one-out walk and his courtesy runner Will Scannapiego swiped second before completing the circle on a single by Cam Liner.

Tyler Gardner plated Devin Armstrong, who had come on as a courtesy runner and swiped second and third, with a sac fly.

After a single by Jonas Ernest, Jordan ripped his second three-bagger of the game to drive him in.

After Stuart fired three no-hit innings, striking out a half dozen and walking three, to pick up the win, Shelbyville was able to get off the goose egg with a pair of runs in the fourth on a single and a Raider error.

Cleveland answered right back with two more of its own in the bottom of the frame with Womack walking and Evan Liner lacing a one-out triple into the right field corner.

Josh Whitaker then lifted a fly ball to right to bring in Liner with a sacrifice.

The final two runs of the game came in the sixth when Cam Liner was "plunked," moved to second on a passed ball and went to third on a single by Ernest. Jayden Bates then lifted a fly ball to left field that was misplayed, allowing him to reach second on the error, while Liner and Ernest completed the circuit.

Only Jordan and Cam Liner, who "took two for the team," had a pair of hits in the game, but Briggs and Womack reached three times with a couple of walks to go with their singles.

Whitaker and Scannapiego combined for four innings of three-hit relief, allowing just one earned run. Whitaker struck out three and walked one in 1.2 innings, while Scannapiego completed the final 2.1 with a K.

Game Summary
Trojan Classic
Saturday, April 20
at Bill Talley Stadium
Shelbyville 000 200 0 — 2 3 2
Cleveland 313 202 x — 11 12 1
Burks, Johnson (3) and Edwards; Stuart, Whitaker (4), Scannapiego (5) and Goglio.
WP: Collin Stuart. LP: Parker Burks. Records: Shelbyville 15-10; Cleveland 17-11.

Friday, April 19
at Evensville
Green Hill 000 000 0 — 0 2 0
Cleveland 100 000 x — 1 2 0
Bowles and Barton: McBrayer and Tippens.
WP: Jack McBrayer. LP: L Bowles. Records: Green Hill 18-4; Cleveland 16-11.

(Email Joe Cannon at joe.cannon@clevelandbanner.com)

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