David Reeder

After four really good innings of baseball to start things off, a pair of really bad innings came back to bite the Jay Bulldogs versus Sallisaw in Saturday’s day game at Trolinger-Haggard Field. But despite the earlier inauspicious events, the ’Dogs performed admirably in the nightcap against Locust Grove.

In the first game of the day, Jay’s left-handed ace, Cayle Shambaugh took the hill and needed only 14 pitches to strike out the Sallisaw side.

But in the bottom of the first the Bulldogs wasted an infield error and a walk, by falling victim to a 4-6-3 twin killing.

Shambaugh allowed his first hit when the Black Diamond’s cleanup man tapped him for a double. But after reaching third on a flyball, Sallisaw’s potential go-ahead run was gunned down at the plate on a perfect tag by catcher Casey Loomis. The fourth of Shambaugh’s 10 strikeouts extinguished the second inning rally.

Kyle Shambaugh led off the home half of the second with a double and advanced to third on a Travis Corporon single. But the Sallisaw starter struck out the side as well, to leave the sacks jammed.

After pitching around a one out double in the third Cayle Shambaugh ripped a solo shot out of the park and into the teeth of stiff March wind.

Leading 1-0, Shambaugh struck out the visitor’s side again in the top of the fourth. And with two outs in the bottom of the inning Chuckie Larrabee laid down a base hit bunt and promptly stole second. John Davenport plated Larrabee with an RBI single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Davenport came into score on Cayle Shambaugh’s second hit and second RBI, to go ahead 3-0.

Following four innings of shutout work Shambaugh gave way to the relief corps. After allowing a single, the Bulldog reliever got two outs. But on an easy come backer to the mound the Jay pitcher threw wildly to second to extend the inning. Two more errors and a wild pitch opened the door for three Sallisaw runs and a tie game.

Following the fifth inning debacle things went down hill fast for the Bulldogs. The Black Diamonds used four more hits, a walk and another error to score five more times in the sixth. Jay was unable to put together any more offense for the remainder of the game accounting for the bitter 8-3 loss.

Six hours and 15 minutes after the first pitch of the day, the Bulldogs squared off with Locust Grove for the evening’s final tilt. Big right-hander Travis Corporon got the nod for Jay. And after getting the leadoff Pirate batter to pop out weakly to the second baseman Corporon thumped the next batsman. But a made to order grounder to shortstop Larrabee resulted in a double play to bring the top of the first to a conclusion.

Kyle Shambaugh reached second on a one-out infield error in the bottom of the frame and moved to third on a passed ball. Kyle came in to score on his brother Cayle’s long sacrifice fly to centerfield.

Leading 1-0, Corporon needed only a dozen pitches to get Locust Grove to go down in order in the top of the second. And in the bottom of the inning, the Bulldog bats rattled back to life. Larrabee and Jesse Scott lead off the bottom of the second with singles and executed a double steal to put runners on second and third. Davenport pushed them both across the dish with his RBI single. After stealing second Davenport scored on Cayle Shambaugh’s 4th RBI of the night. An error and some sloppy play allowed Shambaugh to come home to score Jay’s fourth and final run of the second.

After issuing a walk and allowing a single to lead off the top of the third Jay’s senior hurler struck out the next three Pirates to preserve the shutout.

After striking out the side again in the top of the fourth Corporon helped his own cause with an RBI infield grounder behind the runner in the bottom half. Leading 8-0, Corporon whiffed the final three Locust Grove batters to hang on for the one-hit shutout victory.