The Irish scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to force the extra frame, and secured the win with another run in the eighth.
With the District 5-AAA tournament starting Wednesday in Soddy-Daisy with the third seeded Bears squaring off against McMinn County at 8 p.m., coach Travis Adams limited the Bear starters to just three innings while going with reserves most of the way.
“We decided before game time we were going to play our younger kids a lot to get them some game experience,” said Adams.
The Bears scored the game’s first run as Jacob Fowler dialed long distance with a home run over the left center-field fence leading off the second inning. Starting pitcher Ty King went the first four innings holding the Irish scoreless and allowing only three hits.
Notre Dame took the lead with a pair of runs in the fifth. Nick Chambers laced a one-out double, and Tim Andrews followed with a base hit putting runners on the corners. Starting pitcher Alex Darras lofted a sacrifice fly to the center scoring Chambers. Following an errant pick-off throw, Andrews raced to third and scored a moment later on a wild pitch.
Bradley scored two runs in the seventh to retake the lead.
Sophomore Austin Calfee led off with a ringing double to the left center-field gap. Logan Blackwell and Baylor Terrell followed with singles to load the bases.
Chandler Duggan connected for the Bear’s fourth straight hit, driving in Calfee.
Following a strike out, Caleb Pace lofted a fly ball to right field for a sacrifice fly scoring Blackwell. The Irish ended the Bear rally by throwing out Terrell at the plate on an attempted double steal.
Andrews was hit by a pitch leading off the Irish seventh. Following a sacrifice bunt and a pair of free passes, Joey Gryzbowski hit a long fly to center field that was tracked down by Cal Pickel, with no chance of throwing out Andrews at the plate, tying the game.
The Irish won the game in the eighth on a base hit by Chambers after pinch-hitter Tom Harrod was “plunked” leading off. Harrod moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and went to third on a wild pitch, scoring the game winner on the hit by Chambers.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win, but I saw a lot of positives from our younger guys to build on for the future. A lot of these kids were getting their first playing time, and they handled it very well,” said Adams.
The Bears close out the regular season by hosting McMinn Central Monday at 6 p.m. Bradley will be hosting Senior Night festivities prior to the game honoring the eight Bear seniors.
Bradley Central 010 000 20 — 3 8 1
Notre Dame 000 020 11 — 4 8 1
WP: Gage Miller (2-4). LP: Seth Lee. HR: Jacob Fowler (BC). 2B: Nick Chambers (ND), Austin Calfee (BC). RBI: Chandler Duggan, Caleb Pace, Fowler (BC); Darras, Chambers, Gryzbowski (ND). Highlights: Fowler 1-1, HR, RBI, r; Calfee 1-1 r; Duggan 1-2 RBI (BC); Miller 2-3; Chambers 2-5 r RBI (ND). Records: Bradley 18-11; Notre Dame 12-12.