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Crowder pitches Chiefs past rival Falcons

By Tanner Cook • Mar 27, 2018 at 12:53 AM

ROGERSVILLE — On a historic night where Hawkins County rivals Volunteer and Cherokee met for the first time on the baseball field as Big 7 Conference foes, Chiefs pitcher Ethan Crowder put on quite the performance.

Crowder retired 14 in a row to close out the game, a 7-0 shutout of the Falcons at “The Reservation” on the Cherokee campus. The right-hander allowed two hits and struck out five batters in pitching the complete-game win.

“That’s one of Ethan’s best pitching performances since he’s been here,” Chiefs coach Matt Carter said. “He’s a great complement to Nick Collins where he can control all three of his pitches and Nick is a strikeout guy and a real power pitcher.”

Collins had four RBIs, went 2-for-3 and had the only extra-base hit for the Chiefs (7-2, 2-0). Ethan Bledsoe also had an RBI though he went 0-for-4.

Volunteer committed seven errors and pitcher Ethan Sargent was charged with four unearned runs to start the game.

UNCONVENTIONAL START

Both pitchers got off to great starts, but the error bug plagued Volunteer, which allowed two runs in each of the first and third innings.

Sargent didn’t actually allow a hit until the fourth inning, an infield bunt by Steve Owens down the third-base line.

But the Falcons committed four errors early and couldn’t recover.

DECIDING FACTOR

With the bags loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Collins broke the game wide open when he roped a bases-clearing double into deep left field for the final runs of the game.

Cherokee has won seven out of the last nine meetings with Volunteer, including the past two. Earlier this century, the Falcons dominated the rivalry with great teams.

UP NEXT

Under the conference’s home-and-home, two-game series format this season, the Chiefs and Falcons meet again today in Church Hill.