Warren County got a base hit in the fifth from senior Caleb Northcutt, but Cookeville went deep into its bag of tricks to end the Pioneers’ rally.
Northcutt was moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by designated hitter Daulton Foster, putting the Pioneers’ tying run in scoring position. The situation called for Cookeville head coach Butch Chaffin to visit the mound.
Chaffin devised a little-league hidden ball trick that worked wonders against Warren County. After Davis fell behind to Collin Hutchins 1-0, he decided to try to pick off Northcutt at second base.
When Davis wheeled around and appeared to throw to second, the Cavaliers’ middle infielders both scrambled toward the outfield as if the ball got away. The Cavaliers center fielder also got in the action, charging up in an attempt to find the ball.
With all the commotion, Northcutt took off toward third base. It was only when Northcutt attempted to steal that Davis came charging off the mound, ball in hand, and easily tagged Northcutt to get the second out.
The play demoralized the Pioneers bench and left most of the fans in attendance in stunned silence.
The Cavaliers added two insurance runs off McColloch in the top of the sixth as the Pioneers fell further behind in their attempt to pick up their second District 6-AAA win. Cookeville had three of its seven hits in the inning as the visitors built a 3-0 lead.
Warren County couldn’t pick up the offense in the sixth, then the offense was shut down by something other than Davis.
Lightning started striking near the field, forcing the umpires to call a mandatory 30-minute break. During the break, storms moved into McMinnville, flooding the field. The game was called, dropping the Pioneers to 4-9 overall and 1-4 in district.
Coach Joey Haston watched as another solid pitching performance went to waste for Warren County. Coach Haston hopes the offense can come around as the Pioneers approach the midway point of the season.
“Micah did his job but we couldn’t scratch anything across for him,” said Haston. “Cookeville capitalized on some situations with timely hitting.
“We’ve got to get back to our approach at the plate to find consistent offense.”
The Pioneers were scheduled to complete the two-game series against the Cavaliers last night in Cookeville, but the game was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up today at 6:30 p.m. in Cookeville.