RINGGOLD — It was apparent the Chatham Cavaliers wanted to cause damage, and damage is what they did.
An eight-run, top of the seventh that featured sophomore’s Carrington Aaron’s grand slam played a tremendous part of the Cavaliers’ 15-2 blowout win over the Wildcats, spoiling Dan River’s senior night.
Prior to Aaron’s grand slam, sophomore Jacob Moore worked up a walk with one away to start the Cavaliers’ rally. Hampton-Sydney commit Matt Arnold got on base via error, which set up fellow Tigers commit Christian Lancaster. Lancaster drove in Moore on an RBI single to make it 8-2. Junior Henry Hurt cleared the bases with a two-run RBI triple into the Wildcats’ outfield to put the Cavs into double-digits.
“I was trying to smash the ball to be honest,” Hurt said. “I haven’t had some great at bats so I was just trying to put the barrel on the ball.”
Hurt later came home on a wild pitch during an at-bat by Kennan Lewis. Sophomore catcher Cam Satterfield notched a base hit. Senior Dixon Erwin got on by fielder’s choice, which set up Aaron to do the rest.
“I wasn’t trying to do too much with it,” Aaron said, in reference to his approach at the plate. “Just see it and hit. I had two strikes and I was trying to cover the whole plate.”
Aaron said when he made contact with the ball, he knew it was gone.
Chatham had started another rally the previous inning to widen their lead. Following Moore’s single that went off the pitching rubber, and a Dan River error that advanced Moore to third, Lancaster sent a shot over the Wildcats’ right fielder’s head, resulting in an RBI double to make it 6-2. Lewis scored later in the inning on an error for a 7-2 lead by the Cavaliers.
Top of the fourth, with runners at first and third, Aaron was able to score junior Stephan Hendricks, who pitch ran for Satterfield to lead off the inning, on the sac-fly RBI from third. Arnold sent a ball off the left field wall to score Moore. Moore got on base via a single following Aaron’s at-bat. Hurt, with two outs, got on base by a Wildcat error. The error allowed Arnold to score, making it a 5-0 Chatham lead.
Dan River managed to get on the board in the bottom fifth. Freshman Dylan Howerton led off the inning on a walk and senior Alex Abercrombie singled to put Dan River in scoring position. Fellow senior Alex Alderson got singled to juice the bases with no outs. Sophomore Ricky Edwards produced the sac-fly RBI and junior Mark Allen Porter grounded out to let Abercrombie score, giving the Wildcats their only runs of the game.
Arnold took the mound for Chatham and produced a successful outing. Arnold pitched four innings, struck out two on three hits with two earned runs. Following Arnold’s exit, Aaron pitched in relief and did not disappoint. Aaron pitched three innings to close out the game while only allowing two hits and struck out three Wildcats.