“We had double-digit hits — that’s a first in a long time,” said a pleased Mustangs coach Joe Shamblin. “Our bats are starting to come around. We got good pitching out of Chase (Prince) and (reliever) Josh (Poole).”
The Mustangs got off to an inauspicious start with fielding miscues in the top of the first that led to a Jets run.
“We settled down in the field after the first inning. We made three errors in the first then we settled down and made the plays. That first inning could have been bad,” Shamblin said of what could have been.
From there Walker Valley settled down in the field and slowly picked it up at the plate before exploding for nine runs in the bottom of the third. The Mustangs pounded Cumberland with an eight-hit explosion leading to a 9-1 lead. Walker Valley sent 14 batters to the plate during the outburst and was helped out with three walks and an error. The Mustangs left only one runner on base when the inning finally came to a close.
After holding the Jets scoreless in the fourth, the Mustangs added two more runs to take an 11-1 lead.
Chase Prince led off with a walk and later scored on a Tyrus Hanrick single. Elijah Haynie worked Jets pitching for the second walk of the inning and raced home with the final run of the night on a fielder’s choice.
Shamblin sent sophomore Josh Poole to the hill for his first mound appearance for the Mustangs to close out the win. The young righty did not disappoint, fanning the side to lock up the victory.
“That was Josh’s first outing as a Mustang and he will get to see more (mound appearances). He moved up the ladder already today. I’m proud to see that,” said the Mustangs coach of his newest hurler.
With the District 5-AAA race heating up, the Mustangs will need every advantage they can find in an effort to make a run at Bradley Central and Ooltewah. Shamblin said hitting will be a key and is coming around, but still is not where he would like it to be.
“It’s starting to get back on track. I’m not saying we’re there,” he said. “I still feel like we missed some opportunities to hit tonight. I felt like we missed some chances to blow the game open a little bit earlier. But double-digit hits, you’ve got to be happy about that. I’m satisfied overall.”
MUSTANGS JV 7, JETS 0
The Mustangs junior varsity opened the evening with a 7-0 win over Cumberland County.
Zack Wilcox scored in the first inning when Stuart Clark ws hit bya pitch and Ryan Mahaffey crossed the plate on a Josh Bean walk. A Hunter Lowe ground out scored Brian Oliver.
In the third Mahaffey and Oliver raced home on a wild pitch and Bean put another run on the board for Walker Valley on a Jake Broome sacrifice fly. Hunter Lowe added to the total scoring on a Kile Goins single.
Mahaffey got the win for the Mustangs giving up two hits in three innings of work
MUSTANGS 11, JETS 1
Cumberland County 100 00 — 1 1 1
Walker Valley 009 20 — 11 11 3
WP: Chase Prince 4-0. LP: Mat Ledbetter. Highlights: Josh Poole 2-3, RBI, Elijah Haynie 1-1, 2 runs, Calen Longley 2 RBIs, 2 runs, Bradley Smith 2 RBIs (W). Records: Walker Valley 13-10.