SODDY-DAISY — The Cleveland bats that had made so much noise against Walker Valley and Bradley Central Tuesday and Wednesday fell eerily silent in the District 5-AAA baseball semifinal Thursday against Soddy-Daisy.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the diamond, the Soddy-Daisy bats that had quieted down against Ooltewah Wednesday woke back up against the Blue Raiders. The Trojans beat up on Cleveland pitching with 14 hits in the 10-1 win.
"We hit quite a few balls hard, just right at them," Blue Raiders coach Ted Carson said afterward. "We didn't have too many strikeouts, we just couldn't get anything to drop or go through."
Lack of hitting and a plethora or errors in the second inning put the Raiders in an early hole they would not be able to dig out of. Officially, Cleveland was “credited” with five miscues. Carson said that number may have been a bit low.
"The biggest thing of the night was errors. There were five on the board, but I believe we had more than that. We had some mental errors also," he acknowledged. "When they are hitting the ball and you are giving them the extra [chance] it's hard to win."
Soddy jumped on Cleveland early and often, scoring six times in the first three innings. The Trojans added two more in the fifth and topped that off with a pair of little needed insurance runs in the seventh.
"They put more pressure on themselves when they got behind, but I'm proud of our kids. They never gave up. We had two long nights before this game, two real good games then we had a little fatigue set in. But, you've got to work through that," said Carson.
The Blue Raiders broke the shutout with a run in the bottom of the sixth on singles by Jackson Earle, Eric Powers and Taylor Thompson. The short-lived rally came to a close when Soddy cut down a sliding Blue Raider at third for the final out of the inning.
"This tournament has been indicative of our season. We've played some real good baseball then we'd have some mental letdowns. Part of that is because we have a fairly young group of kids. Hopefully, they will learn from this, adjust and be better next year," Carson stated.
TROJANS 10, BLUE RAIDERS 1
Soddy-Daisy 051 020 2 — 10 14 1
Cleveland 000 001 0 — 1 5 5
WP: Christian Amos. LP: Connor Mitchell. 2B: Caden Ricketts, Andy Wright (SD). Other Highlights: Amos 2-4, Wright 2-4, Cale Morgan 2-4, Levi Thornton 3-4. Records: Soddy-Daisy 11-22; Cleveland 17-19.