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Monday, Sep. 1, 2014

Chaffee stays hot to win Charleston Wood Bat Invitational

Monday, June 18, 2012

(Photo)
Elsberry third baseman Troy Strunk tries to collect an errant throw from the catcher as Chaffee runner Christian Cavaness slides safely into the bag on Sunday during the championship game of the Charleston Wood Bat Invitational. Brent Shipman, Staff
CHARLESTON -- After scoring a combined 26 runs in the first two rounds of the Charleston Wood Bat Invitational, the Chaffee Honey Badgers entered Sunday's championship game against Elsberry Junior Legion Post 226 looking to stay hot.

Riding a complete game one-hitter from starter Connor Scott, the Honey Badgers pounded out 11 hits to beat Post 226 10-0 in six innings on the mercy rule.

"It's the first tournament we've been in and I didn't really know what to expect with the wooden bats," Chaffee head coach Aaron Horrell said. "But we swung it really well and gave up only two runs the entire tournament.

"So that means we're playing pretty good defense and throwing a lot of strikes, which is the key to success."

Holding a one-run lead on only two hits through three innings of play, the Honey Badgers offense finally started to click in the top of the fourth when Scott singled to start a two-run rally.

Jamie Brant followed up Scott's hit with a walk before Daniel Dooley sent a two-out blooper to shallow centerfield that scored a pair of runs.

"That was good to see," Horrell said of Dooley's hit. "Daniel's been on vacation for a week. He got a little work in the cage today and he got us going.

"It looks like a line drive in the box score, but it was a little bloop that did the job and got us started."

Chaffee went on to score seven runs on seven hits through the next two innings as they made sure a seventh frame wasn't required. Christian Cavaness scored the first of three Honey Badger runs in the fifth before Brant sent a double off the left field wall to plate another two.

Leading 6-0 heading into the top of the sixth, Chaffee proceeded to put up their biggest inning of the day as dropped third strike and base hit put their first two batter on.

Dylan Koehler hit a two-run double to make it 8-0 before Scott scored another Honey Badger with his second hit of the contest. With a runner on second and two outs, Jared Walker hit a line drive to left field that plated the eventual game-winning run that put Chaffee up 10-0.

Only three outs from a run-rule win Scott came back to the mound in the bottom of the sixth and got a fly out and two strikeouts to end the game.

"They had a good kid on the mound," Elsberry coach Joe Pott said of Scott. "The boys came up here and we were swinging the bats. We hit the ball fairly decent today, we just hit it right at them.

"We had a few 'K's', but we have a young team that's (going against) an older team, a veteran team. Chaffee's pretty good. The boys just ran in to a tough team today."

In picking up the win Scott went the full innings, allowing only one hit and no walks while fanning four. His only blemish came with two outs in the bottom of the first inning when he allowed a single to Steven Tow.

Only two other Post 226 batters reached base, both on Chaffee errors, while Scott retired the first three hitters he saw in four of the six frames.

"It's funny, he was suppose to start and he didn't show up until like 25 minutes before before game time," Horrell said. "I asked him if he was still good to start and he said, 'yeah, it don't take me long to get warm.'

"We threw him out there and he pounded the strike zone all day. I don't know the pitch count or anything, but I bet he was 85 percent strikes all day."

Besides leading the Honey Badgers on the mound, Scott had two hits on the night tie Walker for the team lead with each contributing a double and an RBI. All but one starter added at least a hit to Chaffee's cause.

With the win the Honey Badgers now stand at 14-3 on the season. They'll host the Charleston Fighting Squirrels in a double header today, staring at 6 p.m.

In other tournament action, Charleston claimed third place in their tournament with an 8-7 win over Kennett Senior Babe Ruth.

Chaffee 100 234 - 10 11 2

Elsberry 000 000 - 0 1 5

WP -- Connor Scott. LP -- Wyatt Groshing. Multiple hitters -- (C) Connor Scott 2-3, Jared Walker 2-3. 2B -- (C) Dylan Koehler, Scott, Walker, Daniel Dooley. 3B -- (C) Jamie Brant.