On any given day, it can happen. We see this continuously in baseball and basketball because of the frequency and number of games played, unlike football which is limited to once a week. This past week, as the schedule would have it, Malone and Cottondale played back-to-back nights. Thursday, the Tigers traveled to Cottondale with the Hornets making the road trip Friday. A little closer game on Friday with Cottondale winning 8-7 but still a ‘W’ on Thursday for the Hornets who won 9-4.
Errors plague the Tigers in 9-4 loss
It’s hard for a team’s offense to overcome five defensive errors and the Tigers are living proof of that. Nine runs given up by Tiger pitchers with only five of those earned. For Malone, it was Dylan Padgett and Spencer Floyd on the mound, combining for nine runs on six hits, five walks and seven strikeouts. Cottondale coach Skylar Davis sent Jordan Braxton to the mound to start. Braxton went five and two-thirds innings, gave up three runs, two of those earned on five hits, four walks while sitting down seven batters on strikeouts. Jude Haser came on to close out the game, gave up one run on one hit, two walks and struck out one batter in one and one-third innings of work.
In the top of the first inning, Dylan Padgett singled for Malone but was out on a fielder’s choice by Tanner Padgett. Two outs followed to end the inning with no runs crossing the plate. Cottondale had opportunity in the bottom of the frame but couldn’t manufacture a run. Jude Haser singled to right field and moved to second on an error. Jordan Braxton singled to right field with Haser taking third on the play. Neither runner crossed the plate before the inning ended.
In the second inning, Spencer Floyd drew a leadoff walk but was unable to execute a run. Cottondale was three up, three down in the bottom half of the second.
A one-out single by Dylan Padgett was the only baserunner for Malone in the third inning. Cottondale had a two-out walk to Jude Haser but it went for naught in the runs scored column. Malone had opportunity in the fourth inning but could not plate a run. Jarrod Southwell drew a leadoff walk, stole second and moved to third on a single by Spencer Floyd. A fielder’s choice with one out, got Southwell heading for home but moved Floyd to third but no runs crossed the plate. In the bottom of the fourth, it was three up, three down for Cottondale.
In the top of the fifth, Dylan Padgett was hit by a pitch with two outs but was caught on an attempted steal of second with no runs scoring. Cottondale finally broke through for a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Brandon Early drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a single by Dylan Tyus. Blake Benton took one for the team to load the baes before a walk to Logan Pumphrey added a cheap RBI to his stats and reloaded the bases. A strikeout, followed by a fielder’s choice, and a ground out left the bases loaded.
Malone countered with three runs in the top of the sixth inning but Cottondale quickly answered with eight, making it a 9-3 ballgame. Jacob Dunaway drew a walk and moved to third on a single down third base line by Jarrod Southwell. With one out, Max Harkrider sacrificed the runs to second and third before Jaret Weber drove in a pair of runs on a single to right field. Weber stole second and moved to third on a passed ball before Colby Harrell drew a walk. A passed ball allowed Weber to cross home plate before the final out. Cottondale’s Avery Burkett had no problem with a free pass to first and moved to third when Austin Grissett took advantage of a Tiger error to reach first and move Burkett to third. Brandon Early got a free pass with a little sting to it when he was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch had Burkett crossing home and moving Grissett to third. Dylan Tyus proved to be just as tough when he took one to the side before Blake Benton picked up two RBIs on a single down the first base line. Logan Pumphrey made it to first on yet another free pass before Jude Haser had an RBI-single down the third-base line. Jordan Braxton hit into a fielder’s choice that got Benton headed for home but advanced the runners and landed Braxton on first. Caleb Nix singled before Avery Burkett reach on an error with the two runs scoring on the play. A wild pitch allowed Burkett to score for the final run of the inning.
Malone added their last run in the top of the seventh inning when Griffin Tucker drew a walk to lead things off and moved to second when Dylan Padgett took one for the team. With two outs, Jacob Dunaway drew a walk to load the bases for Jarrod Southwell’s RBI single that scored Tucker. A fielder’s choice and a ground out ended the inning with no other runs crossing the plate, sealing the Hornet victory.
Hornets edge out Malone 8-7
The Hornets made their way across the county to Malone to take on the Tigers. This less than 24 hours after they had hosted these same Malone Tigers teams. They found the task a little tougher on the Tiger field but walked away with a slim 8-7 victory.
Brandon Early got the starting nod on the mound for the Hornets before being relieved by Jude Haser. Early went two and two-thirds innings, gave up two earned runs, three unearned, on one hit, five walks and struck out two batters. Haser went four and one-third innings, gave up one earned, one unearned run on four hits, two walks and fanned six batters. Jacob Dunaway was on the bump for Malone for four and one-third innings, gave up five earned runs, two unearned on four hits, four walks and fanned six batters. Jaret Weber closed out the final two and two-thirds innings, gave up zero earned runs, one unearned, on two hits, no walks and struck out three batters.
With one out in the top of the first inning, Jordan Braxton singled to right center and stole second base. Caleb Nix reached on an error that allowed Braxton to move to third before an errant throw had Braxton crossing the plate and Nix on second. A wild pitch put Nix on third before he crossed home plate on a sacrifice by Austin Grissett. Malone countered with one run in their half of the inning. Dylan Padgett wasted no time taking a free ride to first when he was hit by a pitch. Tanner Padgett sacrificed him to second before he stole third. Jacob Dunaway was a true team player when he had a sac fly to centerfield that scored Padgett.
The second inning produced no base runners and a pair of goose eggs on the scoreboard. Cottondale added two runs in the third with Malone answering with four to make it a 5-4 Malone lead. Cottondale led off with Logan Pumphrey drawing a walk and stole second base. Jude Haser singled right centerfield to score Pumphrey and then moved to second on a passed ball. With one out, Caleb Nix singled down third base line scoring Haser before the inning ended. Malone’s Jaret Weber singled to start things off for Malone and moved to second when Griffin Tucker drew a walk. Dylan Padgett loaded the bases with when he took his free pass via a walk. With one out, Jacob Dunaway took advantage of a Hornet miscue to reach first safely with Weber scoring on the play. Jarrod Southwell had no problem with a trot to first base on his free admission with a walk and added an RBI to his stats with Griffin scoring. With two outs, Max Harkrider’s philosophy was what a senior can do, I can do better as he walked in a run with Colby Harrell rounding out the free pass RBIs. A strikeout left the bags full.
Cottondale added a pair of runs in the fourth with Malone only picking up one to tie the game at six after four complete. Dylan Tyus picked up with a free admission with a little pain when he was hit by a pitch to start things off. He moved to second with one out on a wild pitch before Andrew Rush drew a walk. An error allowed Tyus to score and Rush to move to second before Logan Pumphrey drew a walk. Rush took second on a wild pitch with Pumphrey out on an attempted steal of second. Jude Haser was the benefactor of a free pass by way of a walk before Nix scored on a two-out single by Blake Benton. With one out, Dylan Padgett took first base when he was issued a walk and moved to second on a single by Tanner Padgett. With two outs, Jarrod Southwell added an RBI to his stats when he singled up the middle to score Dylan Padgett before a ground out ended the inning.
Cottondale added a run in the top of the fifth with Malone failing to plate a run in the bottom. Caleb Nix made it three-for-three on base when he took one for the team without a flinch and didn’t hesitate to steal second. With one out, Blake Benton singled right down the third base line to score Nix and land on first. Benton stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch before back-to-back strikeouts brought the inning to a close. In the bottom of the fifth, a two-out walk to Jaret Weber was all the offense the Tigers mustered.
The tables turned in the sixth inning with Cottondale recording a golf ball and Malone added a run to make it a 7-7 ballgame. Cottondale went down in order in the top of the frame. Dylan Padgett had a 1000% on base percentage for the night when he singled in his last at bat. Tanner Padgett followed suit finding the hole in the right side to put runners on first and second. With one out, an error allowed Jarrod Southwell to reach base and Dylan Padgett to score on the play. A double-play ball ended the inning.
Cottondale added another run in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, Caleb Nix completed his night reaching every at bat with a single. An error put Nix on second with a wild pitch moving him to third. Austin Grissett singled up the middle with Nix getting tagged trying for home. Blake Benton reached on an error that allowed Grissett to end up on third. Dylan Tyus singled to score Grissett for the final run of the inning. Malone went down in order in the bottom of the seventh.