(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
CHAFFEE -- With starter Alex Davie providing seven innings of shutout ball, the Chaffee Red Devils continued their hot start to the season on Monday when the Charleston Bluejays came town.
Surrendering only two hits while not issuing a walk, Davie struck out 10 Bluejays as the Red Devils picked up their 14th win of the season, 6-0.
"I thought Alex Davie threw tremendously," Chaffee head coach Brian Horrell said. "He's been solid all year and it's a good thing he was solid because Charleston made plays early when we had opportunities.
"You tip your hat to their pitcher (Ryan Housman) as well. He pitched a great game and we couldn't get the big hit early. Thank goodness Alex was on. It's probably his most dominant performance of the year."
After missing out on a couple of opportunities with runners on base through the first three innings, the Red Devils were able to take the lead with a three-run rally in the bottom of the fourth.
Helping his own cause, Davie kicked off the frame with a single before a base hit by Alex Crowe and successful bunt by Layton Tenkhoff loaded the bases with no outs.
Jordan Yahn lined a shot up the middle to score a pair of runners and put the Red Devils up for good.
"That was big to see from Yahn getting that hit," Horrell said. "It extended the lineup and got around to the top of the order and we finally had some guys come through behind him. But Yahn has been coming up huge for us."
Capping the rally, Cody Johnson grounded out to short to score Tenkhoff from third to put Chaffee up 3-0.
With Davie still dealing, the Red Devils easily maintained their lead heading into the bottom of the sixth where they tacked on another three runs to their lead.
Once again Crowe and Tenkhoff reached early in the inning before advancing to second and third. Hitting his second single of the contest, Johnson hit a grounder up the middle to clear the bases and put his team up 5-0.
Johsnon came home later in the inning from second base on a Jared Walker single to make up the 6-0 final.
"We had two good innings there for run support," Davie said. "The defense has been there all year. It's good knowing when you go up there you have your defense behind you."
Out-hitting Charleston 9-2, Chaffee was led by Crowe and Johnson as each went 2 for 3 on the game. Crowe scored a pair of runs while Johnson scored once and drove in three.
Of the Red Devils nine hits, eight came from their five through nine hitters in the lineup while that same group drove in five of their six runs.
"The bottom of the order had really been helping us a lot lately," Horrell said. "They've been kind of setting the tone for the top and our top of the order is going to come back around.
"They had chances today in some key spots. You just have to tip your hat to their pitcher sometimes. He's trying to get you out as well and we just didn't make good contact (early on)."
For the Bluejays, D.J. Adams and Housman had the teams only two hits, including a double by Adams.
Though they struggled to get on base late the Bluejays had a pair of opportunities to take an early lead.
In the second frame Adams led things off with a double only to see Davie strikeout the next three batters to strand him at second.
In the next inning, Charleston put a pair of runners on first thanks to Housman's single and a Chaffee error. A pickoff at first base and a run down between first and second, however, accounted for a pair of outs before the Bluejays could start a rally.
"This is probably the best Class 2 team on paper in Southeast Missouri," Charleston head coach Michael Minner said of Chaffee. "I told the guys if that's the best team in Class 2 baseball around here then we have a shot. Because we showed today that we can play with some teams. We just have to continue to get better."
In moving the Red Devils to 14-1 in the season, Davie struck out the side in the fourth and retired 12 straight Bluejays to end the game.
His counterpart, Housman, took the loss, going all six innings allowing nine hits and a walk while striking out three.
Charleston 000 000 0 - 0 2 3
Chaffee 000 303 x - 6 9 1
WP -- Alex Davie. LP -- Ryan Housman. Multiple hitters: (CH) Alex Crowe 2-3, Cody Johnson 2-3. 2B -- (CH) D.J. Adams.