published Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Owls win, lose in tourney

His pitchers gave up a total of seven hits in two games, yet Brian Hitchcox’s Ooltewah baseball team left the Red Bank field Friday with a win and a loss.

After two games in Soddy-Daisy’s Trojan Invitational, Hitchcox was still trying to figure out a young team that won despite its pitching staff giving up 12 walks and hitting a batter and then losing despite allowing just four hits to West Tennessee power Collierville.

The Owls edged Coffee County 7-6 in an extra inning but mustered only three hits against Collierville left-hander Tyler Dailey in a 3-0 loss.

Ooltewah graduated its top six pitchers and best five hitters from the 2010 team, and its odds of 2011 success appeared to be miniscule. The Owls, though, are tied atop District 5-AAA with Soddy-Daisy.

“That first game we swung the ball well and in the second we pitched well — exactly opposite what I thought it would be,” Hitchcox said.

Coffee County didn’t get a hit until the fourth off Zach Thompson, but the dozen walks allowed the Raiders to stay in the game and actually tie it with a run in the top of the seventh.

Drew Toth, Phillip DePrimo, Kevin DuPree and Drew Williams had two hits apiece for the Owls in the win. On the mound to start the second game, Williams went into the fourth with a perfect game before giving up a walk to Kevin Hall and an RBI single to Tyler Dixon.

“Sometimes you feel like you just wasted a pitching performance like that,” Hitchcox said.

Collierville got a home run from Joseph Stovall and a run-producing single from Tucker Tubbs.

“They can really hit the ball so I was glad to see we got a good pitching performance. I’m proud of all of our young [pitchers],” Hitchcox said. “We walked some guys in that first game, but in a tournament like this you want to let the young guys go and see if they can work out of jams if one is created. You let them continue working, and part of it with young guys is their inability to make adjustments during the game.”

The Owls got just three singles in the second game — from Bryn Oliver, T.J. Binder and Brady Binder — but they were up against one of Collierville’s aces. It was the first win of the season for Dailey (1-3), but he has signed with the University of Memphis.

The tournament semifinals are scheduled for 9 and 11:30 this morning at Soddy-Daisy. The championship game is set for 2:30.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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