Clarksville, TN – Clarksville High’s baseball team earned a spot in the championship game of the District 10-AAA Tournament behind a four-hit, 5-0, shutout Tuesday, May 7th by Ben Bleyle in the tournament’s semi-final round.
Early on it looked like Bleyle would give up some runs quickly to the Patriots, with Henry County’s Evan Pugh hitting the first pitch of the game into left field for a single, followed by a walk to Thomas Bomar.
But Pugh was caught in a rundown trying to second third for the first out of the inning.
That would turn out to be big, as the next Henry County hitter – Drake Walker – walked to what would have been bases loaded and no out for the Patriots if not for the caught stealing instead of runners at first and second and one out.
That was when the Wildcats would turn the defensive play of the night.
Henry County’s Hunter McSwain would reaching on an infield single, but Clarksville High’s second baseman Clayton Rose made a diving stop behind the bag at second to keep the ball in the infield and then had the presents of mind to get up and throw a strike to the plate to catcher Gunner Bowling to cut down Bomar – who thought the ball had gotten into the outfield.
Bleyle would get the final out of the inning on a fly ball to right to get out of the inning, with the Patriots stranding two runners on base.
Clarksville High (25-11) would get on the board in the bottom of the second inning, scoring a run on two hits.
Donnie Everett would open the inning with a double, and after two fly outs to right field, would score on a single by Brody Hill to go up 1-0.
Henry County would threaten to tie the game in both the fourth and fifth innings, by getting runners on second base with doubles, but Bleyle and the Wildcats defense was up to the challenge and kept the Patriots off the scoreboard.
Clarksville High would break the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring four runs on four hits.
Rose would get things started with a single, followed by a walk to Brady Cook and a fielder’s choice by Henry County off a bunt by Clay Hetland that wasn’t in time to get the lead runner.
Bowling would follow with a sacrifice fly to center field, to score Rose with the Wildcats second run of the night.
Everett, Nolen Milton and Chance Suiter then recorded back-to-back-to-back RBI singles to close out Clarksville High’s scoring in the inning, with the Wildcats going up 5-0.
Everett and Suiter had two hits each to lead the Wildcats.
Bleyle would take it from there, as he recorded three of his four total strikeouts in the final two innings to seal away the victory and a spot in the tournament’s championship game.
Clarksville High will now advance to meet Rossview High School at 6:30pm, May 8th, at Rossview in the finals of District 10-AAA.
Clarksville High 5, Henry County 0
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Jared Pugh and J.B. Stubblefield; Ben Bleyle and Gunnar Bowling