Batting at the bottom of the lineup, Logan Weeks stepped up with a pivotal pair of two-out hits to help key a 5-3 District 5-AAA road victory for Bradley Central over Ooltewah on Tuesday night.
Weeks sharply singled up the middle to drive in a run in the second inning. His sixth double of the season helped provide the difference as his towering fly to the left-field warning track in the fourth built a four-run lead.
"Logan had a big game at the plate," Bears coach Travis Adams said. "You take his two-out hits away and it's a tied ballgame. We tell these guys all the time, you could be leading off or you could be hitting ninth. The game knows and it will find you, so you better be ready."
Ooltewah (11-10, 4-6) stranded the tying run on second base but had a tough time keeping momentum after stringing six hits and three runs together in the fourth.
The Bears' Dylan Standifer pitched a complete game and retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced, which included five of his seven strikeouts. He allowed just two hits outside of the fourth.
Bradley Central (14-6, 7-1) took the series sweep in which Riley Black continued to contribute in big ways.
Black threw a one-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory at home Sunday and provided insurance in Tuesday's series finale with an opposite-field home run over the left-center-field wall. The junior is batting .418 (23-for-55) with 10 extra-base hits and 20 RBIs this season to go with a 0.93 earned run average and 35 strikeouts in 30 innings on the bump.
"Riley is trusting his stuff right now," Adams said. "He is staying through the ball really well at the plate. We are trying to get five or six of our guys hot in the lineup. Everybody did their job tonight. Two-out hits and making consistent plays will win a lot of games for you."
Ryan Giovengo went 2-for-3 and scored two runs for the Bears, while Caden Sherlin finished the series with four hits.
Ooltewah's Fisher Perry had two hits Tuesday, while Chris Bayne, Kael Williams and Eli Wells drove in runs. Wells and Black both gunned down runners at second base who tried to steal.
The Owls made a pair of errors in the second in rundown situations, which gave Bradley two important runs on a night when pitchers Jax Howard, Colby Taylor and Isaac Hughes combined for 11 strikeouts and just two walks.
"We have pitched the ball better than we thought we would coming into the season," Ooltewah coach Brian Hitchcox said. "We just haven't made enough plays defensively and gotten the timely hits to make it pay off. If we can understand who we are at the plate and get better defensively, we will have a chance to be competitive in May."
Bradley is in second place in the district standings and will face front-runner East Hamilton next week. The state-ranked Hurricanes are 8-0 in district play and will host the first game at 5 p.m. Monday.
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.