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Champs’ road ends in 9-AA consolation bracket

Posted on Monday, May 6, 2024 at 4:21 pm

Base runner Braxtyn Burris safely slides into second base after an errant throw by Cannon County catcher Jon Bryson. (Post Photo by Chris Siers)

BELL BUCKLE — After forging a path to the Class 2A sectional a year ago, including District 7-AA and Region 4-AA championships, the Cascade Champions saw their postseason run cut short, after a season-ending 15-7 loss to Cannon County on Sunday night.
Cascade opened the postseason against Cannon County on Friday evening and built an early lead, but eventually the Lions rallied and held off a late-push by the Champs for the 8-5 win.
The Champs staved off elimination on Sunday and crushed Grundy County with a 12-2, five-inning run-rule limit game, before falling to Cannon County for the second time in as many days, 15-7.

Senior righty Walker Craig delivers a pitch in his final start for the Champions on Friday night. (Post Photo by Chris Siers)

Cascade got off to a decent start against No. 3 seed Cannon County on Friday night in the District 9-AA opener.
Despite a 2-0 cushion for starting pitcher Walker Craig, Cannon County rallied for two runs in the third and added three more to take a 5-2 lead over the Champs.
As pitch counts started to weigh into the game plan, Cascade went to the bullpen after Craig was relieved following three innings.
In total four Champion relievers made appearances in Game 1 against Cannon County.
Although Cascade rallied for three runs in the sixth, highlighted by a two RBI double from Logan Green, Cannon County held on for the 8-5 win to advance to the 9-AA championship.
Craig went three innings and gave up two runs on two hits and struck out five, while Jayden Hathcock went 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.

Cannon Co. 002 303 0 — 8 5 1
Cascade 110 003 0 — 5 4 4

Cascade: Logan Green 1-for-3, Jayden Hathcock 1-for-3, James Magee 1-for-2, Conner Melson 1-for-3.
WP: Morris
LP: Crosslin

Following Friday night’s loss against the Lions, Cascade held off elimination with a dominant 12-2 win against Grundy County.
Grundy County took a 1-0 lead in the first with three-straight, two-out singles that brought home the game’s first run.
Cascade responded with a base-loaded walk in the bottom of the first to tie the game.
It was an eight-run second inning that put the game well out of reach.
Six base hits, two walks and a hit batter allowed Cascade to take a 9-1 lead by the end of the second inning.
Sawyer Lovvorn had the big game at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs to his credit, while Jordan Childress and Logan Green both drove in a pair of runs.
Cascade was able to minimize Jayden Hathcock’s pitch limit and got him out of the game with a sizable lead after just 35 pitches.
He pitched two innings and gave up one run on three hits to go with three strikeouts.
James Magee pitched the final three innings in relief, giving up just one run on two hits with three punch outs as well.

Grundy Co. 101 00 — 2 5 0
Cascade 180 12 — 12 8 0

Cascade: Jordan Childress 1-for-2, Logan Green 1-for-1, Sawyer Lovvorn 3-for-3, Isaac Winton 1-for-3, Logan Pulley 1-for-3, Conner Melson 1-for-2.
WP: Hathcock
LP: Woodlee

Similarly to Game 1 against Cannon County, Cascade found itself in an elimination game against Cannon County for the runner-up game on Sunday night.
Despite grabbing a 3-0 lead, a huge third inning by the Lions was more than Cascade could overcome in a 15-7 season-ending defeat.
Cannon County threatened to blow the game wide open in the first inning, aided by a pair of Cascade errors.
But Hathcock, in his third-straight appearance, worked around trouble to avoid the first-inning jam.
The Champion battery backed Hathcock with a three-spot in the bottom of the first.
With two outs, James Magee was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Sawyer Lovvorn, who crushed a base-clearing double to left to give the Champs a 3-0 lead.
But eventually the Lions were able to work the counts and plated seven runs in the third, putting the Champs in a deficit they couldn’t recover from.
The four-run deficit grew to five runs by the end of the fifth and it wasn’t until sixth that Cascade relied on another bout of two-out hitting to put runs on the board.
Senior Conner Melson smacked a triple to right, clearing the bases and cutting the Cannon County lead to 9-6.
But as quickly as Cascade cut into the Lions’ lead, Cannon County responded with six more runs in the top of the seventh.
Magee came through again with a two-out RBI single for the final run of the game in the seventh.
Lovorn went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs, while Melson was 1-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs as well.
Hathcock pitched 2 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs on five hits to go along with four strikeouts.
Zach Crosslin worked 3 1/3 innings in relief and allowed two runs on four hits with two strikeouts.
Dawson Youngblood pitched an inning in relief as well.
Cascade’s season ends with a 15-7 overall record.

Cannon Co. 007 110 6 — 15 14 1
Cascade 300 003 1 — 7 9 5

Cascade: Jordan Childress 2-for-4, Logan Green 1-for-3, Jayden Hathcock 1-for-3, James Magee 1-for-3, Sawyer Lovvorn 2-for-4, Logan Pulley 1-for-2, Conner Melson 1-for-2.
WP: Armstrong
LP: Hathcock