It was the worst of times. It was the best of times as Bradley Central opened the new baseball season with a pair of opposite performances Tuesday at Olympic Field.Graciously being allowed to use the …
It was the worst of times. It was the best of times as Bradley Central opened the new baseball season with a pair of opposite performances Tuesday at Olympic Field.
Graciously being allowed to use the beautiful, new Lee University facilties, the Bears came out on the short end of an ugly 11-6 "walkfest" in the opener, but senior southpaw Jake Thompson fired a two-hit shutout in the nightcap to earn split in the District 5-AAA doubleheader with Soddy-Daisy.
"Obviously we are still a work in progress," commented Bear head coach Travis Adams. "We let that first game get out of hand, but then Jake really stepped up and took control in the second game and we were able to salvage a split.
"We gave up nine walks and hit four batters in the first game, plus we committed a couple of errors. The second game we settled down and played better defense, and Jake put us in position to win, and we did.
"As bad as we played in the first game, it was good to see we had the resilience to bounce back in the second game," assessed Adams. "It's early in the season and we are still trying to figure things out."
Bradley (1-1) will now head to central Florida for a trio of games. The Bears will take on Bishop Moore High School Thursday, First Academy Friday and West Orange Saturday, all in the Orlando area.
"We are looking to get out of the rain for a few days and be able to get in some games and practices," the veteran Bear mentor explained.
Bradley will return home to help host the Ooltewah Tournament March 21-23 with four games planned at the McKenzie Baseball Complex in the three-day stretch.
BEARS 5, TROJANS 0
Thompson took command from the start, finding the strike zone on 64 of his 105 pitches, including 15 first-pitch strikes. He faced just two batters over the minimum in the first six innings.
After plunking a batter with two outs in the opening frame, Thompson sat down 11 Trojans in a row before Landon Maynor broke up the no-hitter with a solid one-out single in the bottom of the fifth. The base runner was quickly erased by a double play.
The big Bear lefty notched two more of his 10 strikeouts on the night to start the sixth frame, before Spencer Gore touched him for a hit. Thompson responded with another K.
With his pitch-count nearing the century mark, Thompson gave up a trio of free passes to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but a long fly ball to left field was hauled in by teammate Logan Weeks to seal the shutout victory.
Like it did in the first game, the Bear offense rapped out seven hits with Thompson leading the way, going 2-for-4 and driving in a run.
Weeks plated a pair of teammates with a RBI-walk for the first run of the game and another with a sixth-inning double.
Dylan Standifer and Freddy Johnson helped out with run-scoring hits.
TROJANS 11, BEARS 6
With just one half inning going three-up and three-down, the sacks stayed busy with the teams combining for 46 base runners off a half dozen hurlers, but 24 ducks were left on the pond.
Although Bradley starter Riley Black struck out three batters in the top of the first, Soddy took advantage of four freebies and a pair of hits to plate a trio of runs.
The Bears answered with a two-run double by Thompson to plate Caden Sherlin and Black, who had both walked, in the bottom of the opening frame.
Bradley evened the score when Sherlin led off the bottom of the third with a walk and came home a few minutes later when Tucker Still was plunked with the bases loaded.
The Bears took the lead with a trio of runs in their fourth at bat with Eli Wilson drawing an RBI-walk before back-to-back run-scoring singles by Ryan Giovengo and Still, but that would be the final scores for the hosts.
The Trojans were able to take command in the top of the fifth with a five-run rally, a solo score in the sixth and two more in their final at bat.
Harrison Travis led the win by going 3-for-4 at the dish, driving in a teammate and drawing a free pass. Landon Maynor reached base five times with a couple of hits and a trio of walks, scoring twice, driving in a run and stealing a base.
Logan Weeks topped the Bear effort with a pair of hits and a walk in four trips to the plate, plus he swiped a base.
Sherlin and Black both worked Trojan hurlers for three freebies and scored twice (one of Black's runs was by courtesy runner Iverson Vasquez).
Standifer laced a hit and drew two bases on balls, while Thompson added a walk and scored a run to his two-run two-bagger.
at Olympic Field
Bradley Central0100130 — 5 7 0
Soddy-Daisy0000000 — 0 2 1
WP: Jake Thompson (1-0) 7 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 10 Ks, 3 BB, 1 HBP; LP: Zane Guess (0-1) 5 1/3 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER, 7 Ks, 4 BB, HBP. 2B: Logan Weeks (BC); RBI: Weeks 2, Thompson, Dylan Standifer, Freddy Johnson (BC); SB: Ryan Giovengo, Iverson Vaquez (BC); Highlights: Thompson 2-4, RBI; Weeks 1-2, 2 RBIs, BB, Run; Giovengo 1-3, BB, Run; Standifer 1-3, BB, RBI; Johnson 1-3, RBI, Run (BC).
Soddy-Daisy3000512 — 11 11 0
Bradley Central2013000 — 6 7 2
WP: Wyatt Warren (1-0) 3 1/3 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 2 Ks, 4 BB; LP: Dylan Standifer (0-1) 3 2/3 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 3 Ks, 4 BB, HBP. 3B: Harrison Travis (SD), Eli Wilson (BC); 2B: Jake Thompson (BC); RBI: Jacob Jennings 3, Aaron Couch 2, Noah Howard, Landon Maynor (SD); Thompson 2, Tucker Still 2, Wilson, Ryan Giovengo (BC); SB: Spencer Gore, Maynor, Jennings, Couch (SD); Logan Weeks (BC); Highlights: Travis 3-4, 2 RBIs, BB; Maynor 2-2, 3 BB, RBI, 2 runs, SB; Couch 2-3, BB, RBI, SB, Run (SD); Logan Weeks 2-3, BB, SB; Thompson 1-4, 2B, 2 RBIs, BB, Run; Caden Sherlin 3 BB, 2 runs; Riley Black 3 BB, 2 Runs; Standifer 1-3, 2 BB (BC).
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