Tim Taylor, KPI Staff
The Ballard Memorial Bombers continued their winning ways as they started district play. The Bombers hosted Mayfield on Monday, March 24th for their first district game and they came away with the 4-0 win.
The Bombers manufactured a run in the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings to improve to 6-0 on the season and 1-0 in district play. Gavin Williams scored in the second inning to give the Bombers the early lead. Williams drew a one out walk. Jakob Worley delivered a single to right field that allowed Williams to advance to third. Left fielder Cody Collier hit into a fielder’s choice that allowed Williams to score and provide all the scoring needed by the Bombers.
The Bombers threatened to blow the game open in their half of the third. The Cardinals walked three batters to provide the Bombers with a bases loaded and one out situation. Alek Hugen struck out swinging, leaving Williams at bat to try and add to the lead. A pass ball allowed Evan Lawrence to score from third to make it 2-0. Williams went down swinging leaving the Bombers lead at two.
Collier had a one out single in the bottom of the fourth. He stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Bradley Roberts. Another pass ball allowed Collier to slide home for the 3-0 lead.
Pitcher Lee Chandler helped his own cause in the fifth with a leadoff single. He advanced to second on a fielder’s choice by Clay Newton. Chandler took third on a pitch in the dirt and then later scored another run on pass ball that alluded the catcher to provide the Bombers with the 4-0 advantage. Chandler pitched six innings allowing three hits, one walk, and hit two Cardinal batters while striking out three. Hugen came in to close the game out as he walked one batter and struck out two of the four Cardinal batters he faced to preserve the shutout. “The 1-0 in district play is more important to me than the 6-0 start in the season,” said Coach Jeff Sadler. He added, “The versatility of this team and their speed on the bases allows us to do a lot of things.” That was evident in the win over Mayfield. The Bombers put runners in scoring position and they capitalized on the pitches getting past the catcher.
Tuesday’s game at Mayfield was postponed until April 8th due to weather issues. The Bombers then wrapped up the week at the St. Jude Classic in Union City, TN. The Thursday scheduled games were canceled due to weather and the Bomber led Obion County Central 2-0 in the third inning before rain forced that game to be canceled.
Rain forced Saturday’s games to be pushed back from the original start time, but the games did get played under wet conditions and a stiff north wind. The Bombers started Saturday against Gibson County, TN. Ballard Memorial held a 3-2 lead heading into the seventh inning and exploded for seven runs to take the 10-2 lead. The Pioneers scored two in the bottom of the seventh allowing the Bombers to extend their record to 7-0 with the 10-4 win. Williams, Hugen, and Lawrence combined to pitch a four hitter with Williams picking up the win. Newton led the offensive for the Bombers going 3-4 with two doubles while Cavin Foster went 2-4.
The Bombers wrapped up the tournament against Milan, TN. Ballard Memorial jumped out to the 1-0 lead in the second inning. Milan fought back to tie the score at one all in the third and then took the 2-1 lead in the fifth. Milan would hold on for the 2-1 victory to hand the Bombers their first loss of the season. The Bombers managed one hit against Milan while Chandler, Tyler Berry, and Newton combined to give up two runs on four hits. The Bombers stand at 7-1 on the year heading into the All A Tournament at Ballard Memorial. They play host to Carlisle County on Monday March 31st at 1:30 with the semifinals scheduled for Tuesday and the championship on Wednesday.