Jacob Fowler earned his second win of the season holding the Cherokees to one earned run while Jacob Maynard drove in all three Bears’ runs with a triple and his second home run of the year.
Maynard got the Bears on the board in first inning driving in Caleb Pippenger who singled with two outs. Maynard’s line drive got past the diving Cherokee left fielder and rolled all the way to the fence. By the time McMinn got the ball back to the infield Pippenger was in the Bears’ dugout and Maynard was standing on third base.
The Cherokees took the lead in the home half of the second, plating two runs on four hits, along with a Bear fielding miscue. Fowler limited the damage getting a groundout with the bases loaded. Fowler silenced the Cherokees’ bats allowing only one hit the rest of the way.
“Jacob pitched well for us. He got out of trouble in the second inning with only the two runs, and was in control the rest of the way. This is his second good outing in a row; he threw really well in Florida but had nothing to show for it,” said coach Travis Adams.
Bradley came right back in the third to retake the lead. Brentley White led off the frame by coaxing a walk from losing pitcher Daniel Triplett. Maynard then went yard, sending a Triplett fastball toward U.S. 11.
“The homer that Maynard hit was big to give us the lead back, I just didn’t know how big it was at the time. Those guys are seniors and that is what seniors are supposed to do,” added Adams.
Neither team advanced a runner past second the rest of the game as Triplett matched Fowler by putting goose eggs on the scoreboard. Bradley had chances in the fourth and seventh innings to add insurance runs but came up empty. Fowler doubled in the fourth with two out but could not advance. Cal Pickel led off the seventh with a two bagger, but was stranded as Cherokee reliever Jake White retired the next three Bear hitters.
The Tribe tried to pull out the win in the bottom of the seventh against a tiring Fowler, but Nate Mills came on to earn his first save of the season while striking out a pair of Cherokees to preserve the victory.
The Bears remain in first place in District 5-AAA with the win, with a perfect 6-0 mark, and improved to 12-4 overall.
“I’m happy where we are at the halfway point of district play, but there is room for improvement. We’ve got two big series in the next couple of weeks that will go a long way in determining just what kind of season we’re going to have,” said Adams.
Bradley 102 000 0 — 3 6 1
McMinn 020 000 0 — 2 5 0
WP: Jacob Fowler (2-1) 6.1 IP 8Ks 5H 1ER; Save: Nate Mills (1). LP: Daniel Triplett. HR: Jacob Maynard (2nd) (BC). 3B: Maynardm (BC). 2B: Fowler, Pickel (BC). Other highlights: Maynard 2-2 3rbi, Fowler 2-3 (BC). Records: 12-4, 6-0 District 5-AAA.