Bear bats boom

Posted 3/23/19

Claiming wins in their first three games of the Ooltewah Invitational evened Bradley Central's baseball record for the young season.Playing the role of co-host, the Bears raced out to a quick lead …

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Bear bats boom


Claiming wins in their first three games of the Ooltewah Invitational evened Bradley Central's baseball record for the young season.

Playing the role of co-host, the Bears raced out to a quick lead Saturday afternoon and held off Grissom (Ala.) 9-6 after blasting Warren County 13-3 Friday evening.

"It's good to see our bats coming around (22 runs on 38 hits in the last three games)," commented veteran coach Travis Adams between games Saturday. Bradley took on Lincoln County after press time.

"We had some good 'team' wins this week (including the 12-0 no-hitter against Brindlee Mountain, Ala., Thursday)," he assessed. "We've had good hitting, good pitching and pretty good defense."

Junior Riley Black led the offense, reaching base on eight of nine plate appearances in the last two games, while freshman Cooper Casteel and junior Michael Burger got their first varsity pitching victories. 

Bradley (4-4, 1-1 District 5-AAA) will return to league play Monday as its oldest rival, McMinn County (4-5, 1-3), comes to the McKenzie Baseball Complex. The Bears will travel to Athens on Tuesday to complete the home-and-home series.

Saturday afternoon


After Grissom opened the game with a pair of runs, Bradley responded with a half dozen scores in the bottom of the first inning.

"It was good to see us answer like that," declared Coach Adams. "Our hitting is contagious. Everybody wants to get in on it."

Doubles by Lee signee Dylan Standifer (.364 BA, .500 OBP) and Logan Weeks (.368, .455) highlighted the rally, with the latter driving in a pair.

The hosts tacked on another run in the third frame when Standifer drove home Tucker Still (.389, .593) with a two-out single for what turned out to be the game-winning run. 

After Grissom (8-14) scored a run in the top of the fourth, Black (.348, .500) opened the bottom half with a triple and scored on a sac fly by senior Jake Thompson (.385, .400, .692 Slg.).

Senior designated hitter Eli Wilson (.370 OBP) "went yard" with a solo shot to cap the hometown scoring.

The Lions rallied for a 3-spot in the top of the sixth, but that was as close as they would come.

Burger (1-0) fired the first four frames, striking out four and walking just one before Standifer took the hill for the three-inning save.

"Burger kept them in check and Dylan came on and was able to work out of some jams," stated Coach Adams.

"Our offense helped take the pressure off our pitchers the last few days. Grissom has a scrappy lineup and they matched us with 10 hits apiece."

Still reached base four times with a trio of singles and a walk, he stole two bases and scored twice.

Black had a single to go with his three-bagger, plus reached on an error, while Standifer was 2-for-4 with a "ribbie" and a run. Wilson drew a base on balls to go with his dinger and scored twice.

Friday night


While his older brother Ryan is in Florida impressing the Atlanta Braves organization, Cooper Casteel opened some eyes in Bear Nation with a strong mound effort.

The tall lefty gave up just one earned run, scattered a half dozen hits, none for extra bases, struck out four and issued four freebies in a 104-pitch complete-game effort.

"Cooper had a real good start against a formidable region opponent," praised Coach Adams. "Once again our offense gave him some good support to take the pressure off."" 

Black led the 16-hit Bear offensive attack, going 4-for-4, plus drawing a walk. The Lee University commit laced a double and drove in four teammates while handling the duties behind the plate.

Thompson continued his hot start, with a 3-for-4 performance at the dish, including pinging the right field wall with a bullet for the game's final RBI. The big southside swinger leads the team with a 13 "ribbies" so far this season.

Caden Sherlin (.364 OBP) reached base 4-of-5 times with a pair of singles and two walks, scoring three times.

Ryan Giovengo (.440 OBP) and Still helped out with a couple of hits, plus drove in a teammate. One of Still's safeties was a two-bagger, plus he "took one for the team" for the sixth time this season and was able to circle the bases twice.

Lee signee Dylan Standifer and senior Eli Wilson had run-scoring hits, with the former also drawing a base on balls and coming around to score.  

Game Summaries

Ooltewah Invitational

Saturday afternoon

at McKenzie Baseball Complex

Grissom (Ala.)2001030 — 6 10 1

Bradley Central601200x — 9 10 2

WP: Michale Burger (1-0) 4 IP, 7 hits, 3 ER, 4 K's, 1 BB. LP: Nobriga 1 IP, 3 hits, 4 ER, 1 K, 2 BB, 1 HBP. Save: Dylan Standifer (S,1) 3 IP,3 hits, 3 ER, 2 K's, 1 BB, 1 HBP. HR: Eli Wilson (BC). 3B: Riley Black (BC). 2B: Thomson, Woodlee (G); Standifer, Logan Weeks (BC). RBIs: Tomson 2, Zuinema, Woodlee (G); Jake Thompson 2, Weeks 2, Black, Standifer, Freddy Johnson, Wilson (BC). SB: Tucker Still 2 (BC). Highlights: Still 3-3, BB, 2 SB, 2 runs; Black 2-3, 3B, ROE, RBI, run;  Standifer 2-4, RBI, run; Wilson 1-3, BB, HR, RBI, 2 runs (BC). Records: Grissom (Ala.) 8-14; Bradley Central 4-4.

Friday evening

Warren County200100x —  3  6 1

Bradley Central311323x — 13 16 0

WP: Cooper Casteel (1-0) 6 IP, 6 hits, 1 ER, 4 K's, 2 BB, 2 HBP. LP: Garrett 5 IP, 15 hits, 9 ER, 3 K's, 2 BB. 2B: Riley Black, Tucker Still, Jake Thompson (BC). RBIs: Wyatt Wilson, Westen Wilson, Brady Melton (WC); Thompson 4, Black 4, Tucker Still, Eli Wilson, Dylan Standifer, Ryan Giovengo (BC). Highlights: Black 4-4, 2B, BB, 4 RBIs, 1 run; Thompson 3-4, 2B, 4 RBI, 1 run; Caden Sherlin 2-3, 2 BB, 3 runs; Still 2-3, 2B, HBP, 2 runs, RBI; Giovengo 2-4, RBI; Dylan Standifer 1-3, BB, RBI, run. Records: Warren County 3-5; Bradley Central 3-4.


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