OOLTEWAH — The Walker Valley Mustangs showed what they are capable of, responded to a challenge from starting pitcher Kyle Goins and stayed alive in the District 5-AAA baseball tournament with an impressive 10-0, five inning elimination of McMinn County in the second game of the afternoon Saturday Ooltewah High School.
“They felt a little sense of urgency today. I am proud of Kyle. He went out there and challenged them before the game and told them he wasn’t ready for this thing to be over. I was proud of him for that and the kids responded well. They played well behind him,” said Walker Valley coach Joe Shamblin of his winning pitcher and the one error game by the Mustangs.
“That was a good ballgame. I’m proud of them,. They had it going all the way around today. We got some good base running and the pitching was really good. We hit the ball well and did some good things.”
Bradley Central defeated Soddy-Daisy 6-4 in game one.
The hits came early and often for the Mustangs who pounced on Cherokees pitching for five hits and six runs in the first two innings.
Kyle Goins got the win going short distance. The Mustangs' righty gave up five hits to the Cherokees while striking out four and walking only one.
After a scoreless first inning, the Mustangs pounced on McMinn county starter Jake White big time in the bottom of the second.
After Dillan Church led off with a walk, back-to-back singles by Ben Clark and Stu Clark loaded the bases. A ground ball for the first out scored the first Walker Valley run. Zach Wilcox again loaded the bases after getting hit by a pitch and Tucker Mendenhall's single to center made it 2-0. A sacrifice fly to left scored run No. 3 for the Mustangs.
Another hit batter again filled the bases with Mustangs with two outs. Seconds later, John Simmons blasted a bases clearing double to deep left-center field to make it 6-0 with the three RBIs.
Two scoreless innings later, the Mustangs put the finishing touches on the win with a four-run fifth.
Elijah West drew a base on balls, Simmons reached on a error and Church trotted to first loading the bases on the second McMinn walk of the inning prompting a pitching change by the Cherokees. McMinn got a strikeout for the first out before Stu Clark belted an RBI single to make it 7-0. Brian Oliver reached first on an McMinn miscue that plated another Mustangs run leaving the bases stacked. Zach Wilcox took a pitch to the body and trotted to first while Church trotted home. The final run walked across the plate after Bradley Smith became the fourth Mustang to get thumped with the leather.
A total of four Mustangs were the beneficiaries of free passes by means of getting hit by a pitch.
“It’s been one of those years. Hopefully things have changed a little bit,” Shamblin said of the Mustangs’ roller coaster year. “We’re happy to be where we’re at and we are going to come out here and give it our best shot tomorrow.”
MUSTANGS 10, cherokees 0
McMinn County 000 00 — 0 4 2
Walker Valley 060 04 — 10 5 1
WP: Kyle Goins. LP: Jake White. 2B: John Simmons (WV). Highlights: Bradley Smith 1-3 RBI, Tucker Mendenhall 1-3 RBI, Simmons 1-3 3 RBI, Stu Clark 1-3 RBI, Zach Wilcox RBI, Bradley Smith 1-3 RBI (WV). Records: McMinn County 11-18; Walker Valley 11-19.