Cougars make first round exit from playoffs
By Philip Gibson
The Clay Chalkville Cougars were swept out of the 6A playoffs Saturday by the Grissom Tigers. They lost both games by a score of 8-2.
“We had a chance to advance,” Brandon Johnson, Clay Chalkville coach, said. “They came out and played their best ball, and we came out and we didn’t. They were better than us today.”
In the end, the Cougars were plagued by the same pitching issues that they seemed to have worked out in the second half of the season. The pitching staff had a hard time finding the strike zone, walking a combined 20 batters of the course of both games.
“We didn’t throw strikes from the first pitch to the last pitch,” Johnson said. “(In the first game) we walked the bases loaded, they hit a grand slam, and the game was over.”
In addition to the grand slam during the first game, the Tigers tacked on a three run homer and a two run homer in the second game.
The Cougars were never able to get their own offense going. The only time they really threatened to have a big inning was during the fifth inning of the first game. After loading the bases, third baseman Hayden Moore hit into a double play to end the inning.
At the end of the same play, outfielder John Rutter was ejected from the game for unnecessary contact at home plate. Outfielder Darius Baldwin was also ejected for leaving the batters box, as several players from both teams approached the plate at the end of the inning.
“There was contact at the plate which is an automatic ejection,” Johnson said. “The catcher was kind of up the line and (Rutter) ran into him… because (Baldwin), the on deck guy was up there, it’s just like leaving your position, so he ejected the two of them.”
After beating the Cougars, Grissom advances to the second round of the playoffs, where they will face the winner of the Huntsville-Oxford playoff series.