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Bobcats fall by one in Middleton Invitational


The Danny Roberts York Heating and Air Bobcats faced the Tigers of Bolivar Saturday evening in the championship game of the Hardeman County Journal/Yopp's C Store Middleton Invitational baseball tournament.

After trailing for a big part of the contest, the Bobcats rallied late, and dropped a 5-4 squeaker. 

Zeke Turner started on the mound for Bolivar, while Dakota Roden countered for the Bobcats. 

After the Bobcats failed to score in the top of the first, Bolivar pushed a single tally across on a couple of singles and a stolen base.

The Bobcats got a single from catcher Justin Roberts in the top of the second, but he was quickly doubled off of first after Brady Dancer lined out while Roberts was attempting to steal second base.

Roden struck out two Tigers in the bottom of the inning while on his way to a 1, 2, 3 inning. 

In the top of the third, Austin Gafford doubled off of the third base bag with one out. After a strikeout, a stolen base and a walk, he came in to score the tying run after Matt Chandler intentionally got in to a rundown situation, causing Turner to balk.

Bolivar put four big runs on the board in the bottom of the inning. After a single, two walks and two stolen bases, Roden found himself with bases loaded, two out jam. After almost striking the Bolivar batter out, the hitter managed to single to center field, where the ball got through on a three-base error and rolled all the way to the center field fence. All three runners scored, along with the batter, giving the Tigers a 5-1 lead. 

After Roden reached base on an error leading off the fourth, Bolivar turned a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play as Roden's pinch runner attempted to steal second base. Justin Roberts then doubled over the left fielder's head, but was stranded when the Tiger shortstop made a nice running catch of a fly ball down the left field line.

Roden again retired the Tigers 1, 2, 3 in the bottom of the inning. 

Clay Dancer led off the top of the fifth with a single, quickly took second and third base on wild pitches, and scored on a ground out by Gafford. After Matt Chandler reached base on a Tiger error, Wells followed with a solid single, but the threat ended when Roden was called out at first on a bang-bang play. 

Roden allowed a couple of base runners in the bottom of the inning, but was able to get out of the jam with a couple more strikeouts. 

Each team went 1, 2, and 3 in the sixth inning, setting up an eventful seventh and final stanza. 

Needing three runs to tie, the Bobcats started with a ground out. Gafford then reached on an error by the Tiger shortstop and stole second base. Matt Chandler followed with a bloop single to center field. 

Blake Chandler then stroked a solid single to center, driving in Gafford and making it 5-3. Tyler Wells then scratched out an infield single, loading the bases. 

Roden then grounded in to a force play at third base, driving in another run to make it 5-4, but leaving Bolivar only one out from the win. 

Everybody was safe when the next hitter grounded to third, but the third sacker dropped the ball while attempting to tag out Wells and end the game. 

The rally fell just short when Roberts smashed a low liner that looked destined to get through and go in to left field and give the Bobcats the lead, but the Bolivar third baseman had other plans as he dove and snared the ball making a great play, and clinching the championship for Bolivar and giving the Bobcats the runner-up spot. 

Both squads will be in tournament play this weekend in Henderson.

Turner picked up the win on the mound and struck out seven.

Roden pitched very well in the loss and had six strikeouts of his own.

Bobcat leading hitters: Tyler Wells 2 hits; Austin Gafford double, 2 stolen bases, 2 runs 1 RBI; Blake chandler 1 hit, 1 RBI; Justin Roberts single, double; Clay Dancer 1 hit, 1 run; Matt chandler 1 hit; Dakota Roden 1 RBI.

The Adamsville Redbirds took on K & B Shirts and More in a previous game Saturday afternoon for third place. 

The Redbirds fell behind early and were never able to recover, falling 14-0 in four innings. 

Adamsville starting pitcher Brandon White struggled mightily with his control, walking five before being relieved by Trevor Griffin.

Griffin got things under control, but K & B put five big runs on the board in the first inning. 

Adamsville had the makings of a rally in the bottom of the first after a couple of hits, but could not score. 

Griffin stymied K & B over the next couple of innings as he had the hitters reaching for his curve ball.

Likewise, K & B hurler Mason Conner was very effective, not allowing the Redbirds to get anything going. 

T.J. Griffin took over on the mound for Adamsville in the top of the fourth and immediately ran in to trouble with his control.

K & B took advantage of a hit batsman, 3 walks and six hits to push across nine more runs and put the game away. 

After Adamsville batted in the fourth the game was called with K & B up 14-0. The loss left the Redbirds with a fourth place finish in the tournament. Both teams will be playing this weekend in a tournament in Henderson.

Redbird leading hitters: Josh Chappell 2 hits; Jalen Kendall 1 hit

Facing Middleton on their home field in tournament pool play on Thursday, the Adamsville Redbirds scored one run early and six runs late en route to a 7-4 victory.

Starting pitcher Wesley Stricklin did a good job on the mound for the Redbirds, keeping the Tigers off balance with his excellent breaking ball.

Adamsville took a 1-0 first inning lead after John Reed Odom walked, stole second and third, and scored on an error. 

Neither team could get anything going over the next few innings, with Stricklin striking out the side in the bottom of the third. 

Middleton tied the contest at one in the bottom of the fourth on an error, a ground rule double and a single despite having a runner thrown out at the plate. 

Adamsville was set down three up and three down in the top of the fifth. Middleton threatened with two runners on and two out before Stricklin got a big strikeout.

The Redbirds put a couple of runners on in the top of the sixth, but could not score. Likewise, Middleton had two runners on against new Adamsville hurler Josh Chappell before he induced a ground out to end the threat. 

The time limit then ran out and the umpires instructed both teams they would be implementing the international tiebreaker rule, which means each team would start their half inning with a runner on second base. 

Adamsville started things off in the top of the seventh with Cody Fair on second base. The Redbirds bunted and after an error on the throw Adamsville plated one run. Drew Griswell followed with a pinch hit single. 

Steven Searacy then crushed a long drive over the center fielder's head for a two run double. After a wild pitch and a fielder's choice scored another run, Josh Burks plated the final two runs of the inning with a two run single. 

Trailing 7-1, Middleton managed to score three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but came up a little short and fell 7-4. 

Chappell picked up the win on the mound for Adamsville.

Redbird leading hitters: Searacy double, two RBIs; Burks two RBIs.

The Danny Roberts York Heating and Air Bobcats squared off against the Adamsville Redbirds that evening in pool play.

Both teams went with veteran pitchers with a spot in the championship game on the line. 

Behind a nine strikeout complete game effort by Blake Chandler, the Bobcats topped the Redbirds and Drew Griswell, 6-3 in a well-played contest. 

The Bobcats scored one run in the first on a hit by Tyler Wells, two walks and a run-scoring single by Brady Dancer. The damage might have been much worse if not for a nice diving catch by Redbird right fielder Trevor Griffin in the inning.

Adamsville came right back with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning as John Reed Odom drew a walk, stole a couple of bases and scored on a single by Josh Chappell.

Neither team got anything going in second inning play as both pitchers began to settle in and find their groove.

The Bobcats managed another tally in the top of the third on a Blake Chandler double down the right field line, followed by a double ripped in to the left field corner by Tyler Wells. 

Chandler used a couple of strikeouts to make quick work of Adamsville in the bottom of the third and maintaining a 2-1 lead for his team.

Griswell returned the favor by striking out a couple of Bobcats to make quick work of the top of the fourth. 

Griswell got things off to a promising start with a single leading off in the bottom of the inning, but after Chappell flied out, the inning quickly came to an end as Josh Burks hit a bullet back up the middle which Chandler speared and easily doubled Griswell off of first base. 

The Bobcats had a big fifth inning to score four runs and take control of the game. After a batter being hit by a pitch, a stolen base, a passed ball, a walk and a Blake Chandler single, the Bobcats found themselves up 3-1 with two runners on and their power hitter, Tyler Wells, strolling to the dish. 

Wells smashed a monster shot to right center, scoring both runners, with Wells ending up at third base with a triple, and the Bobcats in firm control of the game. Justin Roberts then stroked a single, scoring Wells, and giving the Bobcats a 6-1 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth.

The Redbirds were unable to get anything going in their half of the inning and the Bobcats carried their 6-1 advantage to the sixth inning.

After Chase Smith led off the top of the sixth with a single, the next Bobcat hit a one hopper back to Griswell who quickly started a 1-6-3 double play. After the next hitter flew out, play moved to the bottom of the sixth with the time limit drawing near. 

After Chandler retired the first two Redbirds on strikeouts, Odom singled, Griswell then followed with a single which was followed by a three base error by a Bobcat outfielder, bringing both runners all the way around to score and making the score 6-3. After the next Redbird flew out, the game was called due to the time limit, with the Bobcats winning 6-3, and moving in to the championship game.

Chandler picked up the win on the mound for the Bobcats with Griswell the tough-luck loser even though he pitched well, ending with 5 strikeouts.

Redbird leading hitter: Drew Griswell 2 hits, 1 run; John Reed Odom 1 hit, 2 runs; Josh Chappell 1 hit, 1 RBI; Cody Fair 1 hit

Bobcat leading hitters: Tyler Wells 3-3, double, triple, 1 run, 3 RBIs; Blake Chandler 2 hits, double, 2 runs; Justin Roberts 1 hit, 1 run, 1 RBI; Brady Dancer 1 hit, 1 RBI; Chase Smith 1 hit.

In the opening game of pool play Thursday the Danny Roberts York Heating and Air Bobcats defeated the Middleton Tigers, 6-1.

The Bobcats picked up a single run in the first inning, another in the second, and four in the fifth, while allowing Middleton's lone tally in the second inning. 

Chase Smith picked up the win on the mound for the Bobcats, pitching all but one inning, with Jacob “Birdman” Mullins finishing the contest with one inning in relief.

Bobcat leading hitters: Chase Smith, Tyler Wells

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