On March 22, the CCMS baseball team hosted a doubleheader vs. the Oneida Indians. Coach Andy Ellison went with Ethan Jeffers to pitch. In the top of the first inning, two CCMS errors and a single plated two runs. Jeffers got a strikeout and then fielded a grounder for the second out, Jeffers to Evans.
A single scored a third run before catcher Adam Markley faked a throw to second to allow the runner on third to come toward home, in which Markley tagged a surprised Oneida player out. Oneida was up 3-0.
In the bottom of the first, CCMS went down in order. In the second, Jeffers gave up a walk, but the runner tried to steal second and was gunned down, Markley to McGhee. The next Oneida runner reached on a walk before Jeffers got the next two to ground out: Sanders to Evans and McGhee to Evans.
In the bottom of the second, CCMS put two on with a walk to Jeffers and a single by Andrew Evans, but they were stranded. Jeffers gave up a lone double in the top of the third, but he was stranded as Jeffers got a ground out to Evans, another Miller to Evans and a pop up to Jeffers.
CCMS got on the scoreboard in the third when Max Farris singled, stole second, and then scored on a two-out single by Tate McGhee to cut the score 3-1 Oneida.
In the fourth, Oneida picked up another run when Jeffers allowed three straight singles. With the top of the order coming up, Jeffers fielded a ground out to Evans and then shortstop Tate McGhee caught a line drive and stepped on second to turn an unassisted double play. Oneida led 4-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, CCMS came back with a single and stolen base by Evans who scored on a two-out clutch single by Nate Stevens to close the score to 4-2 Oneida. Jeffers got Oneida out in the fifth with a ground out Ellison to Evans and two fly-outs to Farris in centerfield. CCMS wasn’t able to score in the bottom of the fifth and lost 4-2.
Jeffers pitched the complete game (5 innings), threw 87 pitches; allowed 7 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks; and struck out 1. Andrew Evans went 2-for-2 at the plate.
In the JV nightcap, Markley got the nod from JV coach Greg Tackett. Markley went 3 innings, threw 75 pitches, gave up 4 hits and 3 earned runs, and struck out 5 to get the win: Cougars 10, Oneida 6.
Matt Ogden pitched the fourth on 25 pitches; giving up a hit, an earned run and a walk; and struck out 1. Brady Orick came in to pick up the first ever JV save by pitching the fifth inning on 14 pitches, fanning 2 en route to a perfect 3 up 3 down inning.
CCMS scored three runs in the first inning on singles by Ogden and Jared Ray and walks to Logan Orick and Payton Ellison. Seth Tackett drove in two with a single. The Cougars picked up a fourth run in the second when Eli Seals walked, went to third on a Max Farris double and then scored on a fielder’s choice by Ogden.
The Cougars continued the offensive assault by plating three more runs in the third. Ben Bostic singled, Ellison was hit by a pitch, Tackett collected his second hit, and Isaac Ford blasted a two RBI double.
In the fourth, CCMS plated its final four runs when Farris, Ray and Orick walked, and Bostic sacrificed a run in. The JV is now 2-1.
On Saturday, March 26, the varsity traveled to Maynardville for a play day to play one game vs. Maynardville and another vs. Rutledge. The game time temperature was 49 degrees with a cool breeze and rain in the air. McGhee reached on a fielder’s choice, Evans walked and then Brady Orick singled McGhee to put CCMS up 1-0. Andrew Evans pitched the first game vs. Maynardville. Evans fanned the first batter, before giving up a single and a walk. Evans recorded another strikeout and walk before getting a ground ball to Markley, who came up and threw to first baseman Aaron Sanders, with the infield umpire giving the out sign, end of inning.
However, with the players going off the field, the home plate umpire reversed the decision saying that Sanders foot had come off the bag. The call allowed the run from third base to count and tie the game 1-1.
CCMS put runners in scoring position with a single by Brandon Miller and a double by Farris, but they were left stranded. Evans lost his control in the second, giving up four walks, a hit batter, and throwing 32 pitches and, without giving up a hit, Maynardville scored 2 to go up 3-1.
In the top of the third, the Cougars cut the score to 3-2 when Evans singled and scored on a one-out double to centerfield by Jeffers. Maynardville picked up an unearned run in the third before Evans struck out the side. The Cougars failed to score in the top of the fourth and, with a time limit expired, Maynardville won 4-2. Evans pitched three innings in the loss, throwing 81 pitches, scattering 3 hits, giving up 3 earned runs, striking out 8, and issuing 6 walks and 3 wild pitches. Brady Orick and Jeffers each had an RBI. Ironically, CCMS outhit Maynardville 7-3.
On his 14th birthday, McGhee drew the pitching assignment vs. Rutledge. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a very good birthday present from his teammates who made four errors in the first inning to allow five unearned runs. McGhee, who was averaging 20.2 pitches/inning, needed 31 to finish the first. CCMS responded with three of their own in the bottom of the first. Singles by McGhee and Evans, walks to Jeffers and Markley, combined with two Maynardville errors made the score 5-3 in favor of Maynardville.
Maynardville wasn’t through and scored three runs in the second and two in the third on the help of two more Cougar errors. McGhee was removed after three innings, 74 pitches, 8 hits, 3 earned runs, 4 strikeouts and 2 walks. Markley pitched the fourth on 37 pitches, gave up 2 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks and had 2 strikeouts.
CCMS managed only one more hit (Evans) the rest of the contest. CCMS fell to Rutledge 15-3. One bright spot is Evans, who is 5 for his last 5, has raised his average from .250 to a team leading .539.