The weather may have been perfect for baseball Saturday afternoon, but Walker Valley was dealt a pair of tough blows in back-to-back losses to Smyrna and Boyd-Buchanan.
The Bulldogs lived up to the reputation that proceeds most Middle Tennessee teams and toppled the Mustangs 12-0 in the first game of the afternoon.
Walker Valley (7-13) registered only two hits in the game while committing six errors. Smyrna had nine hits and commited only one error.
In their previous meeting on March 21 at the Ooltewah Invitational, the Mustangs defeated the Buccaneers 4-0.
Saturday’s game turned in favor of Boyd-Buchanan as defensive errors in the top of the sixth inning proved costly for Walker Valley.
What Mustangs’ coach Joe Shamblin saw on the field left much cause for concern with his team jumping back into district action on Monday against Cleveland.
“We’re just not playing very well and are playing very lackadaisical, which we’ve got to get over before Monday,” Shamblin stated.
The Buccaneers set the tone early with a double by first batter Jim Caldwell.
The next batter was able to reach second on a bunt coupled with a Mustang error, which resulted in Boyd-Buchanan’s first run of the game.
Two more runs were scored by the Buccaneers in the top of the second, both of which were the result of Walker Valley fielding errors.
The Mustangs were able to battle back in the third, holding Boyd scoreless and then cutting their deficit to just one run by the end of the inning.
With two outs already on the board and Elijah West waiting on first the next two Walker Valley batters, Ryan Shank and Tucker Mendenhall, were given free passes by the Bucs’ pitcher.
Bradley Smith cashed in on the bases loaded scenario and drove in West and Shank hitting a fly ball misplayed by the Bucs’ right fielder.
The next two innings passed by scoreless by both squads, but the top of the sixth proved fatal to the Mustangs.
A double by Boyd’s EJ Matthews gave the Bucs runners on second and third with no outs.
Pitcher Brady Swafford was able to strike out the next batter, but a follow-up fielding error allowed the Buccaneers to get a runner in.
Another Buccanner stole second with Josh Antwine at bat just in front of his two-RBI single.
A pitching change was made by the Mustangs, but Boyd’s Seth Rogers was able to hit a double and bring the final two runs for the Buccaneers.
Walker Valley attempted to get things going in the bottom of the sixth.
Once again the Mustangs found themeselves with the bases loaded and two outs on the board.
Mason Oran’s hit drove in Dallas Kuykendall, but unfortunately for Walker Valley the next hit was caught in center field, leaving three runners on base at the end of the inning.
The Mustangs held off the Buccaneers in the top of the seventh, and were able to add one more run before the end of the game.
Smith’s ground ball got him safely to first, and then he was able to steal second on a wild pitch.
John Simmon’s sarifice drive advanced Smith to third, and then a follow-up sacrifice hit by Dillan Church gave Smith the chance to get in for the final run before the game was closed out.
Starting pitcher Brady Swafford did well from the mound, striking out four Boyd-Buchanan batters.
“Brady did keep us in it and did a good job the whole time. We just made some errors which got us out of it. It wasn’t his fault, it was our defense’s fault,” Shamblin explained. “We’re working on everything, all aspects of the game. We’ve got to try to get through an ugly time in our season and get better before district tournament starts.”
Cleveland will host Walker Valley on Monday at 7 p.m. for the start of the District 5-AAA series.
BULLDOGS 12, MUSTANGS 0
Smyrna 006 010 5 — 12 9 1
Walker Valley 000 000 0 — 0 2 6
WP: Tyler Wagner. LP: Josh Bean. Highlights: John Simmons 1 hit, Dillan Church 1 hit.
BUCCANEERS 8, MUSTANGS 4
Boyd-Buchanan 120 005 0— 8 9 1
Walker Valley 002 001 1 — 4 7 6
WP: Brandon Willingham LP: Brady Swafford 2B: Jim Caldwell, EJ Matthews, Seth Rogers (BB) Highlights: Bradley Smith 2-4, 2 RBIs, 1 run; Mason Oran 1-1, RBI; Dallas Kuykendall 1 run; Elijah West 1-2, 1 run; Swafford 1-2; Tucker Mendenhall 1-3; Ryan Shank 1 run. Records: Walker Valley 7-13