The Dobyns-Bennett Indians have worked all season trying to put it all together -- good pitching, solid defense, aggressive baserunning, and timely hitting -- and as the 2008 baseball season grinds toward tournament time, the Tribe is starting to jell.
They made it four in a row and the second in as many days on the new FieldTurf surface at J. Fred Johnson Stadium, a 4-2 victory over the Cherokee Chiefs, on Friday.
The Indians got great pitching from senior right hander Miles Chase as he gave up two runs, both unearned, on two hits. Chase struck out nine Cherokee batters and only walked one, in a controlling performance that allowed the Indians to overcome leaving 10 men on base.
D-B assistant coach Josh Warner lauded Chase.
“Miles throws strikes. He keeps the ball low in the strike zone. His last outing he had trouble finding the strike zone and he hasn’t pitched for a couple of weeks, but tonight he showed confidence and really battled and he controlled the game.”
“We felt like Miles would do fine today”, D-B assistant coach Ryan Wagner said. “It is that time of year when you have to be focused everyday and Miles Chase is a great kid with great focus.''
Chase struck out the first batter he faced, then walked the Chiefs LF Coleman Elliott, who would be stranded at first and be the only base runner for the Chiefs until the fourth inning when first baseman Jed Fisher got the first hit of the game for Cherokee, a solid single to right center field.
The Indians got on the board first as sophomore 2B Nick Loughry walked to lead off the second inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior 3B Gabe Overcast. Freshman CF Jake Bellamy walked to put runners at first and second for the Tribe. Cherokee pitcher Timmy Ivey attempted to pick Loughry off of second and threw the ball past his SS and 2B into center field for an error, allowing Loughry to advance to second. Loughry then scored the first run of the game as junior DH Dylan Harvey picked up his 12th RBI of the season on a swinging bunt that was fielded by Ivey and thrown to first for out number two of the inning. Senior LF Trevor McNew drilled an RBI single to score Bellamy and the Indians led 2-0 after two.
Justin Trent scored in the third after reaching safely on a single to left he came home on an RBI double rapped by Loughry giving D-B a 3-0 lead.
The fourth inning saw Fisher reach base on a single, but was forced out at second on a fielder’s choice off the bat of C Ethan Blair. A single by Timmy Ivey and back to back errors by the Indians off the bats of the Chiefs SS/P Brandon Lester and 2B Jacob Fleenor, put two unearned runs on the board for Cherokee, making the score 3-2 D-B.
Trevor McNew singled in the bottom of the fourth inning. His hit was followed by a single by senior RF Lane Taylor and an RBI single by junior SS Jamie Crawford and the Indians were back on top by two, 4-2.
The rest of the game belonged to Chase, as only one Cherokee Chief would reach base over the next three innings and that was due to a defensive error in the fifth by the Tribe. Chase struck out 4 of his 9 batters in the final three innings including a strikeout to end the game.
“We are confident in Miles, in what he can do and he showed it tonight. This is another good win for this team against another good team; Cherokee battles. They have battled us twice and this is a hard-earned win. We are learning to win games that earlier we weren’t winning. The only negative in this game is the fact that we left 10 runners on base. We got some big hits from Trevor, Nick, Lane, and Jamie, but we have to get runners home; but this was a win and a good one and we’ll get back out tomorrow and get after it again.”
“This team is excited about playing here, in this stadium, on this surface. We are going to come out excited everyday and take advantage of what we have here”, said Wagner.
D-B hosts Greeneville at 2 pm and then Gate City immediately following the Greeneville game (approximately 4:30 p.m.) on Saturday.
Cherokee 000 200 0 -- 2 2 3
Dobyns-Bennett 021 100 x -- 4 8 3
Ivey, Brandon (4), Ivey (6) and Blair. Chase and Millsap.
WP – Chase 2-1 LP Ivey