Timid they were not.
The Callaway Cavaliers threw some thunder and lightning bolts Chattooga’s way in the first round of the Class AA State Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon in Hogansville. In the first game of the best two out of three playoff series, Callaway High poured past the Indians, 11-1 behind a seven-hit attack.
“We got some good pitches to hit. We showed a lot of power, and we relaxed,” said Cavaliers head coach Dusty Hubbard.
The big blow for Callaway High came in the bottom of the sixth inning on sophomore designated hitter Braelin Mitchell’s two-run homer to left field. The ball traveled approximately 315 feet, and it landed with a thud.
Mitchell had some Callaway High friends waiting for him at home plate after he rounded the bases in this “run rule” game.
“I got an inside fastball, and I hit it off the barrel (of the bat). Our team has a chance to do something big (in the State Tournament). We are putting the bat on the ball,” said Mitchell.
It wasn’t just Mitchell who was hitting the ball with the fat part of the bat, however. The Cavaliers also got a two-RBI single from Chandler Lott in the third inning and a Kyle Campbell two-run single to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Callaway High scored five times in the third inning with a Drake Wade infield hit and Lott’s two RBI’s. There was also a walk to Campbell and three hit batters. Getting plunked by Clayton Johnson fastballs were Cavalier batters Dylan Johnson, Ben Griffin and Josh Hanson.
The Indians scored their only run in the top of the fifth on a Skylar South bunt single and two fielding errors from the Cavaliers. Callaway High led 5-1 before scoring three more times in the bottom of the fifth on a Lott single, a Griffin base hit to center field, a walk to Milton Turner and a fielding error from the Indians.
Callaway High also got a two-RBI single from Campbell for an 8-1 lead. The Cavaliers would finish off this state playoff win with a three-run sixth inning. In that inning, Callaway High senior Slone Raper singled to right field, and Mitchell stroked his two-run homer to left field.
Chandler Lott, the Cavalier junior right-hander, also tossed a five-hitter against Chattooga. The Callaway High pitcher struck out four and walked three. Lott gave up just one run in six innings.
“Our team is confident, and I got ahead with my sliders,” said Lott.
The Cavaliers were 22-8 after this state playoff win. The Chattooga Indians from Summerville took a nosedive to 9-17 with the loss.
“We walked too many guys. Nerves came up, but Callaway is a solid team. They threw strikes and hit the ball hard,” said Chattooga head coach Josh Mitchell.