CCHS wins extra-inning affair against Holtville

Published 5:26 pm Monday, March 21, 2016

Corbin Bice of Chilton County High School attempts to square up a pitch during Game 1 of a doubleheader on the road against Holtville on Saturday. (Photo by Brian Millican / Special)

Corbin Bice of Chilton County High School attempts to square up a pitch during Game 1 of a doubleheader on the road against Holtville on Saturday. (Photo by Brian Millican / Special)

By Brian Millican | Special to the Advertiser

Chilton County High School’s baseball team won a marathon in Game 2 of a doubleheader, 3-1 in 12 innings, to split a pair of games on the road against Holtville on Saturday.

Typical high school baseball games last approximately two hours. However, Game 2 was a pitching duel that went well beyond the designated time frame.

The two teams went toe-to-toe for 12 innings, and played a total of three hours and four minutes.

Chilton County took an early one-run lead in the top of the first when Corbin Bice walked, stole second base and scored on a single by Dustin Cleckler.

The Tigers allowed the Bulldogs to even the score in the bottom of the same inning when an error by the right fielder allowed a routine fly ball to fall to the ground and gave Holtville a runner in scoring position.

The runner advanced to third on a single and scored on a fielder’s choice ground ball to Cade Hatch at shortstop.

After one, the score was tied, and remained 1-1 for the next 11 innings.

In that time, the Tigers were given excellent pitching performances from Noah McGhar (starting pitcher), Tolliver Gilliland and Hatch. The only run to cross the plate on any of them was the unearned run in the bottom of the first inning.

The top of the 12th inning started off with a strikeout and ground-out, making it appear that the inning would not be anything special.

However, Bice was hit by a pitch and Hunter Bennett singled.

Suddenly, with two outs in the 12th, the Tigers had new life.

Cleckler followed Bennett’s single with a walk to load the bases for Dustin Langston, who walked on five pitches, as the Tigers took a 2-1 lead.

Colby Ramsey stepped to the plate next and hit a hot shot that the Bulldogs’ third baseman could not quite get a glove on. The base hit scored Bennett from third and gave Chilton County a 3-1 lead.

Hatch and the Tigers’ defense closed the door on the Bulldogs in the bottom of the 12th.

At the plate for Chilton County, Cleckler was 2-for-5 with an RBI, Bennett was 4-for-6 with a run scored and Hatch finished 2-for-5.

On the mound, McGhar pitched six innings and struck out one, while Gilliland struck out six in four innings of relief and Hatch pitched the final two innings to earn the victory.

Earlier, in Game 1, Griffin Beutler made his first varsity start of the season for the Tigers but was pulled in the third inning after the Bulldogs plated three runs in the bottom of the first and another run in the bottom of the second.

Cody Herron took over on the mound in the fourth inning with his team down 4-0.

Bice walked to start the fourth inning and trotted home when Dustin Cleckler smashed a 3-2 fastball out of the park for his third home run of the season.

With one pitch, the Tigers cut the Bulldogs’ lead in half.

Dustin and Eiland Cleckler were the only two players to collect hits for the Tigers in Game 1.

Dustin Cleckler had a single in the second inning, as well as his home run in the fourth, while Eiland Cleckler’s single came in the fifth.

Holtville’s pitching staff did a magnificent job of keeping Chilton County in check as the game progressed and the Tigers ended up losing 4-2 in Game 1.

Despite taking over with a four-run deficit, Herron pitched well and gave his team a solid chance to come back and win.

In four innings of work, Herron struck out two and only allowed one hit.

Chilton County is now 12-8 on the season.

CCHS is scheduled to begin area play on Tuesday at Selma. The Tigers will then host Selma on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. if necessary.