Jonathon Alomar’s relief turn leads Bradley Central past Cleveland

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Bradley Central's Ethan Wilds pitches during Friday night's game at Cleveland.
Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Bradley Central's Ethan Wilds pitches during Friday night's game at Cleveland.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Bradley Central junior Jonathon Alomar provided all the momentum his baseball team would need in Friday night's 5-2 victory at crosstown rival Cleveland.

With the Bears trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning, Alomar inherited a tough situation with the Blue Raiders' Cutter Womack and Mycah Jordan stealing their way into scoring position with no outs. Alomar, though shined in the middle relief role as he recorded back-to-back strikeouts looking on inside fastballs, then got a swinging punchout on a slider away to escape the jam.

"I was really excited coming back into the dugout at the end of the third, because I knew we couldn't make mistakes and let this game get out of our control," said Alomar, who wound up as the winning pitcher. "We just had to focus in and get our jobs done. Once you get locked in, you feed off the momentum."

With a three-pitch mix that included a curveball, Alomar recorded all six of his outs via strikeout before turning the mound over to senior Brody Casteel, who brought heat in the high 80s and fanned five Cleveland batters over the final three innings.

"The way that second inning was going, for Alomar to come in and shut it down was the play of the game or whatever you want to call it," Bradley Central coach Travis Adams said. "That was a huge setup point for us. His job in relief for us was a big key to this game and a big win over our crosstown rival."

The bats paid their respect to Alomar's clutch ability, as the Bears (6-6) responded in the top of the third with all the run support their pitchers would need.

Spane Bristol delivered a line-drive, go-ahead RBI single on a full count, and cleanup hitter Luke Keith followed by lacing a two-run single down the left-field line to make it 4-1.

Both teams scored one run in the seventh, with Josh Leek hitting a sacrifice fly for Bradley.

Cleveland loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half but would score only one run, on an RBI groundout by Mycah Jordan. He also stole a pair of bases, as did Cutter Womack, who reached base in all four of his plate appearances, delivering a single, drawing two walks and getting hit by a pitch. Jordan also had an impressive double play turn on Leek's sac fly, when he gunned down the runner trying to advance to third on one hop.

The Blue Raiders (8-7) scored in the first inning, too, on a 3-0 opposite-field RBI single by Jack McBrayer on a night runs would would be hard to come by against a tough bullpen.

"We are going to battle wherever we go, and we showed that tonight," said Keith, a senior who is a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football signee. "That was a good team win. Alomar showed them what's up, and Brody came in and finished it. It's always awesome to beat your crosstown rivals."

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