DECATUR, Tenn. — Scott Moses wanted a good pitching performance. His want was so very close to need.
“I have struggled a little this year with my breaking pitches. Today I located it pretty well,” Moses said after pitching a two-hit shutout and leading McMinn Central to a key 6-0 District 5-AA victory at Meigs County.
The win provided a Chargers sweep of the Tigers and assured them of a district finish no worse than third as they gear up for the postseason.
The tournament pecking order won’t be determined, though, until Saturday at Polk County when the Wildcats host Meigs County in a game postponed by rain earlier in the season. Sequoyah has won the district and Polk needs a win to hold on to the No. 2 spot.
Moses, who has signed a scholarship with Belmont University to both play the field and pitch, was on his game Tuesday. He gave up a hit that skipped off the third baseman’s glove and another that landed just beyond the shortstop’s outreached glove in the first inning but escaped unscathed.
It was Meigs’ best and, really, only chance.
Moses didn’t give up a hit the rest of the way, striking out 15 Tigers. He struck out two in the second, third and fifth innings and K’d the side in the sixth and seventh. He actually struck out four in the seventh, the first batter reaching on a strikeout/passed ball. Moses got the next three on nine pitches.
He was working without senior J.D. Cowart, who has been his catcher since the two were old enough to step on a baseball field. Cowart sprained an ankle last Saturday in a tournament in Oak Ridge.
“It was a fluke,” McMinn Central coach Travis Hart said. “He was coming back from the [third-base] bag after the inning was over — never touched the bag — but somehow rolled his ankle. He’s had it wrapped and he’s been in an air cast. We hope to have him back next week.”
Hart was worried about somebody else catching Moses, who is known for a crisp fastball, a hard-breaking slider and big curveball. The nominee was sophomore Dakota Duggan, whose first chance to catch Moses came in a brief bullpen session Monday.
“Coach gave him the game ball, and he deserved it,” Moses said.
That award could just as easily gone to Troy Torbett, whose single in the second scored Ryan Blansette with the only run the Chargers would need, or to Max Miller, whose single to left gave them an insurance run in the fifth. Or it could have gone to Matt Duggan, whose bases-clearing triple to right in the top of the seventh broke the game open.
Miller was the only Charger with two hits.
Meigs had a couple of chances including a first-inning shot when Moses got his first strikeout with runners on first and third.
“We made some baserunning blunders, but I felt we were in pretty good shape down 2-0 going into the seventh,” Meigs coach Justin Jennings said.
The Tigers left six runners on base.
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 ...