Tigers fall to Bobcats

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 7, 2015

Britt Buckelew was wheeling and dealing in Friday's win.

Britt Buckelew was wheeling and dealing in Friday’s win.

Thanks to a solid pitching performance, the Opp Bobcats pummeled the Straughn Tigers 8-0 in Straughn Friday afternoon.


Barrett Bush started the night on the mound for the Tigers, and after giving up a walk to start the game, sat down the next three Bobcats to escape the first.


Bush had two strikeouts in the first inning.


Britt Buckelew took the mound for the Bobcats, and struck out the first batter he faced before giving up a one-out single to Campbell Hudson.


The Tigers put runners on the corners when Lane Sirmon reached on an error by the third baseman.


Buckelew never faltered, getting Ethan Wilson to strike out and then getting an easy groundball to end the Tiger threat.


Cody Anderson led off the top of the second inning with a base hit. Buckelew followed with single to put runners on first and second with no outs.


Former Tiger Gunter Wise reached first on an error, and Anderson came around to score to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.


Moments later, Wise was caught in a pickle between first and second. Wise was ultimately tagged out, but bought just enough time for Buckelew to score from third to put the Bobcats up 2-0.


The Tigers got the second out on a pop up, and Bush picked up his third strikeout to end the top of the second.


Buckelew breezed through the home half of the second by sitting down the Tigers in order.


In the top of third, the Bobcats continued a trend of getting the leadoff man on base.


Eli Johnson started the third inning off with a leadoff double to put the Bobcats in business early.


Cale Pierce reached next after getting hit by a pitch.


An attempt to throw Pierce out stealing second sailed into center field, and allowed Johnson to walk home from third.


Pierce came around to score after a throw down to third ended up down the left field fence.


The Bobcats took a 5-0 lead when Lucas Worley drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.


The Tigers continued to struggle with Buckelew on the mound, and went down in order in the bottom of the third.


Cutter Gafford came in and pitched in relief for the Tigers in the fourth inning.


Gafford inherited runners at second and third with one out. After giving up a run on a balk, Gafford settled in and retired the next two batters.


It appeared that the Tigers would break onto the scoreboard in the home half of the fourth after loading the bases with no outs, but the Bobcats stood strong.


The Bobcats got the first out on a bang-bang play at the plate. After fielding a ground ball, Buckelew threw to the plate, but the ball popped out the catcher’s mitt.


After a brief discussion, the umpires agreed that the ball came out as he was trying to grab it, and as a result no run scored and the Bobcats got a much needed out.


Buckelew got the next Tiger to ground into an inning-ending double play.


There was a scary moment in the top of the fifth inning. Gafford’s first pitch of the inning was laced right back up the middle. The ball deflected the side of Gafford’s head, but was caught by the Tigers’ shortstop for an out. Gafford went down in heap, but needed just few moments to gather his thoughts before returning to the mound.


Gafford hit the next batter, and then walked the following batter after that before giving up a hit to Buckelew.


Gafford began to show effects of getting drilled by the line drive, and was removed after two more walks loaded the bases.


Riley Eiland entered the game in relief, but walked the first batter he faced to give the Bobcats an 8-0 lead.


In the bottom of the seventh, Pierce took the mound for the Bobcats, and after giving up a one-out walk, Pierce got the Tigers to hit into a game-ending double play.


“Well, we won,” Bobcats’ head baseball coach Mike Cassady said. “We didn’t play well though. If Britt doesn’t pitch as well has he did, we could have easily lost that game. We played defense poorly, and we ran the bases poorly. We were fortunate to get that win.”