CLEVELAND, Tenn. — No more impossible dream.
For the first time in its 12-year history, Walker Valley swept Bradley Central in a regular-season baseball series, beating the Bears 9-6 to follow up Monday's 4-0 win.
"It was important. There's so much at stake when you're playing your cross-county rival," Mustangs coach Joe Shamblin said. "We'd just been swept by Cleveland and we went through a six-game losing streak. I think we learned from the Cleveland games that you can't step out on the field and think you're going to win in 5-AAA."
The back-to-back victories kept Walker Valley in the race for one of the top two seeds in the district tournament although Ooltewah still has a three-game lead following its Tuesday night win (11-3) over Cleveland.
First baseman Caleb Longley, a Cleveland State commitment, was in the thick of the Mustangs' rally, twice putting them ahead. In his final at-bat in the top of the seventh he followed Logan Melton's triple with a sacrifice fly to right that gave Walker Valley (12-10) a three-run bulge.
However, his big noise-maker, which came after striking out in his first two at-bats, was a fourth-inning grand slam that took the Mustangs from a 5-2 deficit to a 7-5 lead.
"Hitting one in this situation was a special moment, but I knew it when I stepped in the box that something good was going to happen. I just had that feeling," he said. "And sweeping Bradley -- it doesn't get much better than that."
Chase Prince, Walker Valley's second of four pitchers, picked up the win. Kamren Barnes, who earned his fourth win of the year Monday, came on for two shutout innings to get his second save of the year.
"He had a fairly low pitch count on Monday and he was begging for the ball," Shamblin said. "Actually he was begging for it a lot sooner than we gave it to him."
The Mustangs were out-hit 7-5.
"I wouldn't say we took advantage of their pitching but rather that we had some timely hitting," Shamblin said.
Bradley's pitchers were their own worst enemies, walking eight and hitting three. Five of those 11 scored.
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 ...