Bears end Cavs’ streak
Just three wins shy of the best start in program history, the Cookeville Cavaliers (15-1) were handed their first loss of 2013 by the Sevier County Smoky Bears (17-3 overall) 5-3 Saturday afternoon at Smokies Park.
“It was a really good high school baseball game,” SCHS coach Casey Taylor said. “They’ve got a good team: They’ve got 16 seniors, they were undefeated, and they had two Division-I signees. They’re really good.”
Cookeville started the scoring early, plating a run in the first inning on an RBI fielder’s choice, but the Smoky Bears answered in a hurry, tying the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the frame and plating two more in the second to go up 3-1.
The SCHS first inning run came by way of a Nick Clabo sacrifice fly following a Dallas Gossett triple.
The two second-inning runs came on a Dillon Cate two-run single after a walk and hit for senior Dylan Ford.
With Cate staked to a 3-1 lead, Taylor pulled his ace after three innings to preserve him for this week’s big district games.
“Jeff Henry came in and threw very well,” Taylor said.
Henry gave up one run in the fourth, but after two more Bears runs in the bottom of the fifth, the coach went to freshman Devante Matthews.Matthews gave up a leadoff single, and an infield error later alllowed a run to score, but with runners on first and second at the winning run to the plate, the freshman closed the door to earn the save and the 5-3 win for the Purple and White.
“We played well, put strategy in place and executed it,” Taylor said. “It went well.”
The Bears will be in action again tonight at home against Morristown West at 6 p.m.