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Bulldogs advance behind Davis’ blast

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Coalfield eliminated following 1-0 loss

By Goose Lindsay

Wartburg’s Jeremiah Davis delivered perhaps the biggest hit of his life Friday at Coalfield Friday evening. The Bulldog clean-up hitter hit a solo home run in the second inning and that was the only run of the contest as Wartburg kept its season alive while eliminating Coalfield 1-0 in the opening round of the District 3A Baseball Tournament.

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Davis says he wasn’t thinking about the long ball when he delivered the 3-2 pitch over the center field fence.

“Ashton (Coalfield’s Ashton Jones) is a really good pitcher and when he worked that full count I knew he was going to give me a strike so I just did everything I could to put it in play,” Davis said. “The ball just found its way over the fence.”

Friday’s tournament opener was the third dramatic game of the season between the Jackets and Bulldogs. Coalfield had won the previous two games, 7-6, and 2-1.

“I’m glad we pulled it out,” Wartburg head coach Zach Moore said. “All three games with Coalfield this year have been one run games. We lost the first two.

“We had a lot of things that didn’t go our way. We didn’t score as many runs as we had hoped. We left runners on in scoring position, but my guys got the job done and I’m proud of them for it.”

Davis also picked up the win on the mound for the Bulldogs on Friday as he and Caleb Constant combined for a two-hitter.

Davis started the game and went 3 1/3 innings. He didn’t allow a hit, but did get into trouble on two occasions.

In the bottom of the third inning, Coalfield’s Johnny Carroll reached on an error and Luke Adkisson walked to open the inning. Later in the inning Jones was intentionally walked with two outs to load the bases, but Davis got out of the jam with a ground out on the infield.

Coalfield threatened again in the bottom of the fourth.

Jeffrey Speer and Lance Byrd walked and were sitting on second and third with one out when Coach Moore made the move to Constant.

Constant responded by striking out the next two batters to end the threat.

“We knew we were going to go with J.D. because he pitches well to contact,” Moore said. “Constant pitched on Monday and probably wasn’t ready to go a full game so I wanted to make sure we could close the game with him on the mound. Both of them did a great job.”

Coalfield had just two more base runners after the fourth inning. Jones singled with two outs in the fifth while Byrd doubled with two outs in the sixth, but neither came around to score.

Wartburg had just two hits after Davis’ homer in the second. Patrick Lester singled later in the second inning while Adrean Hall had a single in the fifth.

Jones pitched well in defeat for Coalfield. He allowed four hits and one walk while recording nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings of work.

With the victory, Wartburg advances to the double elimination portion of the tournament along with Harriman, Oliver Springs and Rockwood. The double elimination portion of the tournament started Monday and the Bulldogs are the host.

“We sure didn’t want to host a tournament that we weren’t in,” Moore said. “I’m glad we’re getting to play in it. There are a lot of good teams in our district and a lot of good baseball teams that aren’t getting to play.

“We were one of those last year. We were a pretty good team then and got sent home on this night so I’m glad my guys are getting to play baseball. They deserve it.”