Tushka out-duels the ‘Dawgs in defensive battle
by By Zach Maxwell Sports Reporter
CALERA - The Tushka Tigers reached their 20th win of the season in a 2-0 defensive gem on Monday against the Bulldogs.
The win propelled the 11th-ranked Tigers to 20-7 ahead of a Thursday district playoff in Soper starting at 4 p.m.
Calera, with the loss, falls to 17-6. The 12th-ranked ‘Dawgs will travel to Clayton on Thursday, also with a 4 p.m. start time for the playoffs there.
Tushka’s Weston Manar went the distance on the mound, logging six strikeouts and allowing just four Calera hits.
“Hopefully our pitcher can keep us in it and that’s just what he did,” said Tushka Coach Eddie Jeffcoat. “We found a way to score a couple and Weston did a great job keeping us in it.”
Manar, Jaeson Nutt and Trevar Lytle strung together base hits in the second, but only courtesy runner Parker Mobbs was able to cross the plate.
In the fifth, Taylor Mobbs laid a hit in right which was good enough for a triple, and he came home on a base hit from Connor Brinkley.
The rest of the defensive effort from Calera was spot-on. They turned a pair of double plays - both squashing Tushka scoring threats, and left fielder Braxton Barton chased down a sure extra-base hit in the sixth.
Then in the seventh, Connor Sutton of Tushka got a single by Dakota Hodge in center. But Hodge’s relay allowed Calera catcher Rylee Barton to apply the face-plant tag at home to prevent a Tushka insurance run.
But the Bulldog bats never awoke, and when runners did reach base, they were stranded. Calera left six runners on base, included a bases-loaded opportunity in the first inning.
“We only had three hits and left too many on base,” said Calera Coach Rickey Teafatiller. “If you don’t come up with a hit with runners in scoring position, good teams will beat you every time. And we took way too many pitches today.”
Lucas Wright, Josh Loper and Connor Hamilton split time on the mound for the Bulldogs on Monday.
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