Clarksville, TN – Leading by a narrow 5-4 margin after three-and-a-half innings of play, Clarksville High School’s baseball team exploded for nine runs in its final two at bats, May 5th, to defeat Henry County High School 14-4 – in five innings – to remain undefeated in the District 10-AAA Tournament.
The Wildcats (26-5) will advance to the tournament finals at 7:00pm, on May 6th and host the winner of the elimination game between Northwest High school (7-25) and Henry County (17-11), scheduled to start at 4:30pm at Clarksville High’s Baseball Field.
The Wildcats had taken an early 5-1 lead over the Patriots after two innings, but three errors in the third inning allowed Henry County to score three times to make it a one-run contest, 5-4.
“We’ve not played real clean defensively here of late and our starting pitcher (Ben Bleyle) they were on him right away,” Clarksville High coach Brian Hetland said. “He’s been a Henry County killer over the years and has always done real well against them.
“Tonight they did a good job and staying in the middle of the field with a lot of line drives. In the first inning we got them out in order, but they were all pretty good hit balls, so they were on him from the get-go and I give them credit for that.”
Hetland would bring in Brady Cook to relieve Bleyle in the third, with the score 5-4 and the tying run on second base with no outs.
Cook didn’t disappoint, as he struck out the first three Patriots batters he faced to end the threat.
“We just felt it was time to bring Cook in with them having a lefty coming up,” Hetland said. “He came in and kept them in check and finished it off really well.”
In fact, Cook (5-0) only allowed one base runner in his three inning of work – a single by Drake Walker with one out in the fifth inning.
Cook’s outstanding relief work allowed the Wildcat to regroup and get its offense rolling again.
Clarksville High would put its lead back out to three runs, 7-4, with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning – the first on an RBI fielder’s choice by Gabe Bowling – and the second by Donny Everett, who stole home on the backside of a double steal with Mitch Muhlada.
Those two runs would only be the preamble for what was to come in the fifth inning, as the Wildcats scored seven times on just four hits, while also taking advantage of three walks and two hit batters.
Keandre Sadler and Justin Miller opened the inning with back-to-back singles, followed by a walk to Cook to load the bases.
Milton and Miller finished the game with three hits each to lead the Wildcats.
Clarksville High also scored runs in the inning when Luke Chilcutt was hit by a pitch and Sadler walked with the bases loaded, while finally ended the game with the 10-run mercy rule on a two-run single by Miller.
The Wildcats had opened the contest with three runs in the first inning coming on a two-run single by Bowling and a RBI single by Milton.
Clarksville High would add two runs in the second inning – highlighted by a RBI single from Landon Mosteller – after Henry County had scored a run in the top of the second inning on an error by Miller to make it 3-1.