Cavaliers have to hang on
Southern Lee won its baseball game Tuesday evening, defeating visiting Jordan-Matthews 9-8. It's safe to say Cavalier head coach David Miller will have plenty to go over at practice on Wednesday.
The Cavaliers (3-1, 1-0) led 9-2 headed to the seventh inning. The Jets (3-1) rallied to get the tying runner on third as they had the bases loaded when third-place hitter Casey Golden grounded into the third out, Cavalier shortstop Jared Kehagias tossing to second baseman Nate Brown in time for the force out and just in time to save the Cavs.
The Jets were scheduled to be the home side on Tuesday. Rain left the Jordan-Matthews field unplayable but Southern Lee's diamond was fine.
The Cavalier offense, taking advantage of a few big Jet mistakes along the way, built up a 9-1 lead through four innings while Cav starting pitcher Christian Wenger worked around plenty of Jet base-runners but allowed his team to get the big lead.
Southern Lee took the lead without a hit in the second inning. Connor Gaines walked and stole his way around to third. With two outs, an error by Jet third baseman Trey Lineberry, on a chopper hit by Wenger, allowed Gaines to score.
With a two-out RBI single by Josh Hudson knocking in Golden, the Jets got the run back in the top of the third.
The Cavs regained the lead in their half of the third. With one out, Derek Jackson singled into center and Freddy McCollum raced around from second to score. Then with two down, Cullen Boyette lined a hit to center for two RBI and a 4-1 Cavalier lead.
The Cavs rallied for five runs in their next frame, doing so with two hits. Four walks and two outfield errors fueled the Cavalier outburst.
With two out and runners on first and second, Helsman sent a shot into center for what should've been a single and probably one RBI. Instead the ball scooted past the center fielder. Two runs came in and Helsman advanced to second.
A walk and another error kept the inning moving, making it 8-1 Cavs in the process, Boyette drove a triple to deep right for another RBI and a 9-1 lead.
Wenger, a lefty who also turned in two pickoff moves for outs, went 4.0 innings with five hits, one run, two walks and three strikeouts. Gaster came on and pitched 2.0 innings, allowing two hits, a run and striking out three.
Jackson started the Jet seventh for the Cavs and walked the first three Jets he faced.
Justin Kidd singled in one run, followed by Hudson hitting into a fielder's choice out at second for another run. Derek Hamilton singled for an RBI making it 9-5 Cavs. Trey Lineberry's grounder resulted in an error by Boyette at third.
Ryan Holmes came out of the pen to replace Jackson with the bases loaded, so the tying run at the plate, and one out.
Holmes got the Cavs within an out closing it out with one pitch. Ethan Cook grounded up the middle and Kehagias, who wasn't in the game until being subbed in at shortstop with the pitching change, made the play to first while a Jet scored.
Nigel White laced the first pitch he saw up the middle for an RBI single. Jet leadoff hitter Chip Perry hit a grounder to second and an error by Brown let another run score, for a 9-8 score, and put the tying runner on second. Holmes walked Drew Hinshaw, moving White to third.
With no more room to spare, Holmes got Golden to send a grounder to short, which Kehagias and Brown took care of allowing the Cavaliers to take a deep breath and survive.
Boyette led the Cavs at the plate going 2-for-4 with three RBI. Jackson went 2-for-3 with two runs. Helsman had two runs and two RBI.
Hamilton went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI for the Jets. The Jets went through five pitchers on the night. Hudson started and went 1.2 innings. The Cavs plated eight of their runs against Nathan Poirier, Perry and Andrew Myles. Coming in for Myles in the fourth, Golden pitched a scoreless 2.1 innings, allowing one hit and one walk.