MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Two Chattanooga-area baseball teams began the Spring Fling in danger of being no-hit. Only one escaped.
Bradley Central's first hit Tuesday was a big one as Jake Thompson's double in the sixth inning drove in a run, and a mile-high popup soon after did all the damage needed. The Bears beat Murfreesboro Riverdale 2-1 in hostile territory at Oakland High School on Tuesday.
Riley Black danced out of trouble as he allowed 12 runners to reach base but allowed only one run, in the seventh, and struck out eight to claim the pitching win in the Class AAA game.
"Both pitchers went at it," Bradley Central coach Travis Adams said. "Riley kept them down and their guy had our number. Our guys are pretty resilient, and they showed it again. They stay in it all the way to the finish."
This is Bradley's first trip to the Spring Fling since 2007. The win was sweet to Adams, whose Bears fell in a sectional game to Oakland at the same field his first season as coach in 2008.
"We are going to enjoy this win for sure, but it's a quick turnaround," Adams said. "We are going to keep grinding and battling through adversity like we have all season, hopefully."
Bradley Central (24-14) will take on Independence (26-11) at 1:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Oakland High.
Also Tuesday, Sequatchie County's Indians (25-11-1) fell 4-0 to Loudon in 12 innings in Class AA's opening round.
Two fielding miscues in the 12th by the Indians allowed four runs to cross for the Redskins, who got four hits from Jackson Duncan.
Nathan Hickman sizzled a high-80s fastball past hitters and combined for a no-hitter with Trey Willis and Jacob Mallory. Willis picked up the win as the lefty struck out nine in his four relief innings.
Loudon (23-10) had a perfect game through 10 innings and allowed only Trevor Ritchie to reach base, via a walk. Sequatchie County never hit a ball out of the infield and struck out 22 times.
The Indians also received a dandy performance on the mound from lefty-hander Kollyn Cooper, who went six scoreless innings. Austin Mitchell and Zach Lockhart combined for 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief work.
The Indians must try to climb back out of the losers bracket. They face Haywood at 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday.