The Cumberland County High School Jet baseball team improved their record to 18-12, after beating Upperman 8-4 Thursday and losing 3-2 at Walker Valley in 12 innings Friday.
CCHS 8, Upperman 4: The Jets baseball team picked up its 18th win of the season Thursday with an 8-4 victory over the Upperman Bees.
Drew Vaden picked up the win on the mound, throwing six innings, allowing eight hits and two earned runs with four strikeouts. David Elliott threw one inning, allowing only one hit and getting one strikeout.
Offensively, the Jets jumped out to a five run lead in the top of the first with singles by Ryan Burgess, Matt Ledbetter, Nathaniel Wyatt, Elliott, Justin Shipe and a sacrifice fly by Reed Shaw.
The Jets added another run in the second by drawing a hit by pitch and walk along with a Wyatt sacrifice fly.
Upperman scored a single run in the bottom of the second, but the Jets would end the threat, catching an Upperman player in a rundown. The Jets extended the lead to 7-1 in the fifth with a leadoff walk and a double by Morgan Richards.
Upperman made things interesting by plating three runs in the bottom of the fifth, but it would be the final runs they scored. CCHS added an insurance run in the sixth with a single by Wyatt and a double by Shaw.
"Tonight was a good win for us. We had challenged the offense a bit to pick it up and we did swing it a little better tonight. Anytime you can put five on the board before the other team gets a chance to hit, it's a good thing. Drew and David threw well tonight as well," said Coach Dave Prichard.
Walker Valley 3, CCHS 2: The Jets have been no stranger to extra inning affairs this spring, and Friday night was no exception, as they fell to Walker Valley 3-2 in 12 innings. The game showcased exceptional defense and pitching from both squads all night long.
The game remained scoreless until the fourth when the Jets put a single run on the board after a Ledbetter walk and a Shaw double.
Walker Valley answered back with two of their own in the bottom of the frame to take a 2-1 lead.
In the sixth, the Jets tied the contest with a Grant Parrett double, a Ledbetter single and a passed ball.
In the bottom of the sixth, Walker Valley looked to regain the lead and would load the bases with no outs but the Jets would get out of the jam after an infield flyout, a fly ball to centerfielder Matt Ledbetter who throw out a runner at the plate attempting to score.
In the ninth inning, the Jets had a leadoff double by Wyatt, who was bunted to third by Ethan Cunningham. With one out, Elliott delivered a ground ball to first and Wyatt appeared to score on a close play at the plate, but was called out.
In the 12th inning, Walker Valley loaded the bases with no outs. The Jets recorded one out, catching a runner at third on a failed squeeze attempt, but Walker Valley scored the winning run on a ground ball to shortstop, as the Jets just missed turning an inning-ending double play.
"Tonight was a fantastic high school baseball game. You don't see many like this. Both teams pitched well and played great defense. Sure we could have done a few things better, but we played our tails off for over four hours and I couldn't be prouder of our guys. We actually outhit Walker Valley 10-7, but just couldn't find that big two-out hit. We did a fairly good job of getting guys into scoring position but just couldnt get them across. Grant. Matt and David all threw exceptionally well for us tonight. David got the tough-luck loss, but it was actually his best outing of the year. We were one step away from getting that double play at the end and extending the game even more. I'm really proud of our guys, effort tonight," added Prichard.
Parrett pitched seven inings, allowing one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts, while Ledbetter pitched two innings with strikeouts, and Elliott hurled 2 2/3 innigns allowing one earned run on three hits with one K.
CCHS closes out the regular seaon with a home-and-home series with White County, traveling to Sparta Monday and hosting the Warriors Tuesday, weather permitting both days. Should both games be rained out, a double-header will be played either Wednesday or Thursday. The district tournament begins Friday or Saturday with the two play-in games — No. 5 at No. 4 and No. 6 at No. 3. The top two seeds have the home field advantage in the best two out of three series which begins May 5. The two winners will play for the championship and earn a berth in the Region 3AAA Tournament May 12.