Story and Photos by Rusty Ellis
The Cookeville Cavaliers battled back from an early deficit, but ultimately couldn’t muster up enough offense in a 6-3 defeat to Green Hill on Wednesday night.
Green Hill struck early for three runs before Cavalier pitcher Cody Mabery settled in and started firing strikes. This allowed Cookeville to stay in the game despite the early deficit, as Mabery limited the damage to just the three runs in the first.
Cookeville finally broke through with a three-run inning of their own in the bottom of the third inning, as two runs came across when Braden Hawn’s bunt attempt was thrown into the right-field corner by the Hawks.
The Cavaliers tied the game with an RBI groundout off the bat of Ethan Innis, leading to what felt like a brand-new game with a knotted score heading into the fourth.
Green Hill answered right away however, as they pushed across three runs in the top of the fourth to take a 6-3 lead. That would be enough, as Cookeville just couldn’t put together enough sustained offense and ultimately fell by that margin on their senior night.
“I thought we hit the ball to two of the best players in the district,” said CHS head coach Butch Chaffin. “Green Hill plays tremendous defense all the time…I thought we swung the bats really well, we just didn’t get any breaks.”
On the pitching side of things, the top of the first and fourth innings proved to be the difference in the game, but Chaffin says his team needs to be better in that aspect of the game if they want to make a deep run.
“We have to have good pitching,” Chaffin said. “I think our defense has been pretty good, so that’s how we have to play. We have to find contact, and we can’t give away freebies…we can’t make errors or walk guys. We’ve just got to have that pitching.”
Despite the loss, the night did give the Cookeville faithful a chance to celebrate their senior class, and it’s one that Chaffin had plenty of positives to rave about.
“This senior class has been awesome, they’re all such great kids,” Chaffin said. “I can’t say enough about them and all the hard work they’ve put in for four years. There are some really good players in this class, and I can’t say enough great things about them.”