Mustangs hand Seahawks first loss

By PATRICK MacCOON
Posted 4/14/18

Locked in at the dish, Hunter Schoenhoff and Caleb Lawhon produced in major ways in a 6-2 victory for Walker Valley over previously unbeaten Silverdale Baptist at Mike Turner Field Friday night.In …

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Mustangs hand Seahawks first loss

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Locked in at the dish, Hunter Schoenhoff and Caleb Lawhon produced in major ways in a 6-2 victory for Walker Valley over previously unbeaten Silverdale Baptist at Mike Turner Field Friday night.

In eight at-bats, the leadoff and five-hole slugger combined for seven hits as well as a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt by Schoenhoff that he nearly beat out.

"Me and Caleb spent a lot of time in the cage before the game tonight working on a few things we needed to," said Schoenhoff, who went 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI as he upped his hit streak to five games. "I have been patient and knew the ball would find a way to go through if I could start to make strong contact."

A professional hitting approach by both came through for big results in a 13-hit effort for the Mustangs, who have found their way back on track.

Lawhon followed Kolten Gibson's four-hit night from a 12-0 road win over Chattanooga Central the night before, as he hit lasers all night to all sides of the field.

With a similar swing to the Braves' Freddie Freeman, the fellow first baseman used his short and compact stroke to turn on an inside fastball that cleared the right field fence in less than three seconds. 

After the big man's fourth home run of the season, he celebrated at the plate with a Fortnite dance, which is a popular video game the team has played together this season.

"Caleb and Hunter really provided damage for us tonight at the plate," WVHS head coach Joe Shamblin said. "It is great to see Hunter step up at the top of the lineup the past two nights and get his confidence soaring. We are resting Kevin (Bowerman) for district after he aggravated his groin a little. Caleb put on a show tonight too."

Walker Valley (12-7) came through with three important runs right off the bat, as Logan Cross highlighted a three-run first inning with a first-pitch, two-run single up the middle with two outs.

Silverdale (11-1) cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fourth, but could only pick up one hit over the last three innings, in which the Mustangs broke free for seven hits and three more runs.

Sophomore southpaw Jake Smith picked up the win on the bump as he went six strong innings and only allowed four hits with a 6:1 strikeout-walk ratio.

Lee University signee Matthew Pigg came in to shut the door to take the Mustangs win streak to three games, as he fanned three batters to give him a whopping 56 strikeouts (district best) over 29 innings this year.

Jordan Munck once again flashed his leather in the field with a diving grab up the middle on a night where neither side made an error.

WV's pitching staff has allowed just four earned runs over the win streak, which saw sophomore Ethan Hailey (.041 opponent's batting average) and Jordan Munck (3 saves) become the first pitchers in the district to beat Soddy-Daisy in eight attempts with a 6-4 road victory Tuesday.

Junior Dylan Allender also thrilled in Thursday's win at Central with six shutout innings on his way to throwing 70 percent strikes, as well as 67 first-pitch strikes. He was backed at the plate by Gibson and Hailey, who smacked a triple and double.

"I am very proud of the way we have played the last three games and this was a good team we beat tonight," Shamblin said. "We went through a dry spell over the last few weeks, which is something most teams go through in the season. Hopefully that was our valley. It looks like we are kind of getting in that postseason form hopefully."

With a 5-3 record in District 5-AAA play, Walker Valley hopes to gain ground over the next two weeks with McMinn County and East Hamilton left on the Monday-Tuesday slate.

The 'Stangs sit two games back of Soddy-Daisy, who has Ooltewah and Bradley Central left. 

Meanwhile, the second-place Bears lead by one game over the Mustangs and have a tough schedule as well with Cleveland and the Trojans left.

"We have to keep moving forward," Schoenhoff said. "We want to push ourselves to come back in the standings and fight all the way to the district championship. It's going to be a fun ride."


GAME SUMMARY

Silverdale Baptist: 001;100;0 — 2 6 0

Walker Valley: 300;021;x — 6 13 0

WP: Jake Smith 6 IP, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 4 hits, 2 ER. HR: Caleb Lawhon (WV).  2B: Blake Peterson (WV); WV Highlights: Hunter Schoenhoff 3-for-3, 2 runs, RBI: Lawhon 4-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs: Logan Cross 1-for-4, 2 RBIs: Blake Peterson 1-for-3, 2B, RBI:  Brandon Runion, 2-for-3Matthew Pigg 1 IP, 3 Ks, 0 hits, 0 runs.  Records: Silverdale Baptist 11-1. Walker Valley 12-7.

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