Feathers pitched a two-hitter and league-leading Science Hill got just enough offense to post a 4-1 victory over the Chiefs in a Big Seven baseball game Tuesday at TVA Credit Union Ballpark.
“Brandon really commanded his pitches well tonight and moved the fastball around really well,” Science Hill coach Ryan Edwards said. “I thought he just attacked the strike zone.”
Feathers, who will play at Radford University next year, attacked the strike zone well enough to strike out 11 Cherokee batters. It wasn’t as spectacular as his 17-strikeout perfect game against David Crockett earlier in the season, but he was in trouble only once and walked just one batter.
The Chiefs got to Feathers in the third inning when Nick Collins’ double scored pitcher Ethan Crowder, who had reached on an infield single. Then, with runners on second and third, Feathers got a much needed strikeout. He went on to retire the final 13 batters he faced after Collins’ double.
“Getting ahead in the count and then executing,” Feathers said in describing his success. “They don’t know what’s coming and I have an arsenal of pitches. It’s a guessing game for them.”
Science Hill, which improved to 20-4 overall, 9-0 in the Big Seven, got a two-run double from Chance Hall in the first inning and a solo home run from Dave Bryant in the third. Bryant scored three of the Hilltoppers’ runs. Hall and Bryant each had two hits.
“I can’t fault our guys one bit whatsoever,” said Cherokee coach Matt Carter, whose team fell to 11-11 overall, 5-4 in the Big Seven. “Feathers did an outstanding job. He was in the zone. He dealt and you just have to tip your cap and say ‘Hey, you did a great job.’ ”
Meanwhile, Crowder kept the Hilltoppers off balance for much of the game with an arsenal of slow breaking pitches. He scattered seven hits.
“The kid battles,” Carter said. “He throws a lot of strikes, keeps teams off balance. He did an outstanding job today.”
Edwards complimented the Cherokee starter whose fastball averages in the mid-60s (mph).
“If you can get your breaking ball over the plate consistently in any count, you’re going to be tough,” Edwards said. “That’s what he did tonight. He kept us in check.”
Crowder seemed to get out of trouble in the sixth, striking out Caleb Marmo with runners on second and third. The pitch hit home plate and scooted past Cherokee catcher Dylan Johnson, allowing Bryant to score.
Johnson had blocked several bouncing pitches with his chest, saving a run each time, before one skipped off the plate.
“Dylan does an amazing job for a sophomore that came into our program as a middle infielder and has been moved to the catcher position,” Carter said.
The two teams meet again today in Rogersville at 6:30 p.m.
“I thought they were a very scrappy group at the plate,” Edwards said. “They’ll be a tough foe tomorrow. They’ve managed to either split or sweep everybody they’ve played at this point, so we know we have our hands full tomorrow at their place. We just have to come ready to play.”