The Cumberland County High School baseball team finished 1-3 in the Play for the Cure Tournament Thursday at McMinn Centrall and Saturday at Walker Valley.
Coach Dave Prichard's team fell to 1-4 overall, after beating McMinn Central 5-4 and then losing 4-2 to Polk County at McMinn Central Thursday, and dropping a 16-6 decision to Knox Catholic and a 10-1 decision to CAK Saturday at Walker Valley.
March 14 games
CCHS 5, McMinn Central 4: Aaron Jones was the winning pitcher allowing four runs, one earned, on three hits with 13 strikeouts in seven innings.
Bobby Uebelacker was two for three with an RBI.
"Aaron threw the ball extremely well. It was probably the best start of his career. If he throws like that, we will have a chance to win every time he is out there. He really deserved a shutout and it is a shame we had a few defensive miscues and couldn't get it for him," said Prichard.
Polk County 4, CCHS 2: Tayler Houston was the losing pitcher, allowing two runs, none earned, with seven strikeouts.
Dylan Fehr was the leading hitter, going one for two with an RBI and a walk.
"Tayler really competed on the mound tonight and should have picked up a win. We kicked two routine ground balls in the first and give up four runs when we should have not allowed any. You can't give quality teams extra outs. He didnt let it fluster him and he continued to compete all night long, we just couldnt give him the offensive support he needed," added Prichard.
March 16 games
Knox Catholic 16, CCHS 6: Morgan Richards suffered the loss, allowing eight runs on seven hits with three walks in 1 2/3 innings.
Ryan Burgess went two for two with two RBIs and two walks.
"This was a frustrating contest. I felt like, offensively, we stood up to the challenge and played as well as we have all year. That being said our pitching staff didn't show up and it really cost us. We had the lead in the second and let it get away from us because of our inability to throw strikes and compete. Knoxville Catholic is a quality team and will make you pay if you issue free passes, and that is what happened. We battled back to get it to 9-6 in the fifth but, again, we lost command of the zone and dug a hole we couldnt get out of. One bright spot was freshman Jacob Hayes who got an opportunity on the mound and he did what we asked him to do. It was nice to see. Hopefully, some of our upperclassmen will take notice," said Prichard
CAK 10, CCHS 1: Matt Ledbetter was the losing hurler, allowing five earned runs on three hits with five walks in 1 2/3 innings. Uebelacker and Ethan Cunningham were the leading hitters, both going one for three.
"Another frustrating game. We again got an early lead and squandered it issuing walks. Our offense never really showed up and has to be able to not let our pitching issues get them down. We have to be able to continue to battle and keep ourselves in the game. Again, if you are going to issue free passes, good teams will make you pay.
"Over the weekend, we showed sparks of grit and competitiveness that we expect from out club. We are not going to schedule cupcake games and strongly believe that our difficult schedule will make us better down the stretch when it counts. Offensively, we showed some signs that we are getting a bit more comfortable. Hopefully that continues to improve in the upcoming weeks. We are struggling on the mound right now and that is where it counts the most. We have had two guys show that they will compete and give us a chance to win. Our other guys must step it up and challenge hitters in the zone consistently if we are going to see any success. I'm confident we can continue to improve. I really like this group of guys and strongly believe we are better than we have shown to this point. We are not afraid of work and will get back at it," concluded Prichard.
The Jets open the home season March 19 against Upperman at 5 p.m. and then open District 6AAA play with a league tournament Friday and Saturday at Warren County High School.
On Friday, CCHS plays Cookeville at 5:30 p.m. and Coffee County at 8 p.m., and two games Saturday, White County at 12:30 p.m. and Warren County at 8 p.m. These games will count in the league standings.