HOGANSVILLE – The Callaway Cavaliers built a 10-3 lead with a six-run fourth inning, and they withstood a late Central-Carroll charge to get a 12-8 region win on Tuesday.
The Cavaliers (8-5 overall) improved to 3-1 in Region 5-AAA play, while Central-Carroll dropped to 0-4 in the region.
The Cavaliers looked to have things in hand after going up by seven runs through four innings, but the Lions pushed four runs across in the sixth inning to get within three.
Callaway was able to hang on for the win, though, and when it comes to the all-important region games, that’s all that matters.
“We were up 10-3 in the fifth, and kind of breezing,” Callaway head coach Dusty Hubbard said. “We don’t do the things we need to do to keep the game where it’s at. And they got some hits, too. They hit the ball well. But we’ve got to make plays. We made it rough on ourselves. But it’s like I told our guys. The important thing was we found a way to win.”
Josh Hanson, who has developed into one of the team’s most dependable pitchers, started and threw four innings to get the win.
Hunter Rollins relieved him and pitched into the seventh inning, and Dylan Johnson finished things off on the mound.
Callaway and Central-Carroll will meet again on Friday for a doubleheader, and those games will be in Carrollton.
After Central scored a run in the top of the first inning, Callaway answered with a run in the bottom of the inning.
Leadoff hitter Devin Brock got things started with a base hit, and Noah Hammett was hit by a pitch.
After a Dylan Johnson sacrifice bunt, Ty McCann’s sacrifice fly tied the score.
The Cavaliers took the lead with a run in the bottom of the second.
Cortney Laye led off with a base hit, and Jordan Bonner reached on a one-out single.
With two outs, Brock hustled down the line and reached on an infield single to bring in Laye, and the Cavaliers led 2-1.
Central tied it with a run in the top of the third, and Callaway reclaimed the lead, this time for good, with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Hammett led off with a walk and Johnson walked, and with two outs, a pair of runs scored on a Laye hit, and Callaway was up 4-2.
The Cavaliers were clinging to a 4-3 lead when they came to bat in the bottom of the fourth.
By the time the inning was over, Callaway had sent 10 batters to the plate and scored six runs.
Bonner got the rally jump-started with a base hit, and Drake Wade reached on an error.
A run scored when Brock made it to first on an error, and after Hammett walked, a Johnson fly-ball was misplayed in the outfield, allowing two more runs to score.
Two batters later, Rollins came through with a two-run base hit, and Laye followed with an RBI single to give the Cavaliers a seven-run cushion.
After the Lions got within three, the Cavaliers scored two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Johnson and McCann both reached on singles, and they later scored on an error, and Callaway led 12-7.
Central scored one run in the top of the seventh, but Johnson was able to get the final out to end the suspense.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports