Big innings and a new start carried the Chattanooga State baseball team to a 12-2 victory over visiting Motlow on Sunday.
The scheduled nine-inning game ended early when Connor Gilbert's two-run triple capped a five-run outburst that gave the Tigers a 10-run lead in the seventh. That won the TCCAA series for them and gave the program 30 wins for the eighth consecutive year under coach Greg Dennis.
"That's nothing to sneeze at," Dennis said. "But we've been kind of smoke and mirrors with injuries and other things."
The latest example was that scheduled starting pitcher Tripp White sustained a slight knee injury Thursday and was held out after a Sunday warmup session. Instead, freshman Cody Hartley from Nashville made his first college start and went six innings, giving up six hits and the two Bucks runs.
"That was huge," Dennis said. "We were asking a lot of him. Motlow swings it really well -- they're hitting like .360 as a team -- and we held them to zero, three and two [runs] this weekend."
Hartley gave up two hits in the first inning, including Tyler Murphy's run-scoring double, but the Tigers (30-10, 11-4) scored seven runs in the third. They also had a seven-run inning in Saturday's first game, but that was all their scoring in the doubleheader. Usually adept at timely hitting, they failed to deliver a run in the rain-interrupted second game despite having the leadoff man on base in five of six at-bats.
Isaac Davenport led off their third time up Sunday with a walk and punched in the seventh run with an infield hit. In between, Zach Zarzour doubled, Jordan McDonald hit a sacrifice fly, Gilbert singled in a run, Matt Sorrow was hit by a pitch, a wild pitch coupled with a throwing error brought in a run, Zach Lance doubled past third base, Brady Reed singled and Daniel Tucker tripled in a run down the right-field line.
Davenport had a two-run single, Zarzour his third hit of the game and McDonald an RBI single ahead of Gilbert's game-ending hit in the seventh.
Murphy had three hits for Motlow (22-15, 5-10).
Chattanooga State plays its annual exhibition against the Lookouts on Tuesday night and plays Thursday and Friday at nationally No. 1-ranked Walters State.