Bounce Back: Smart Dodge offense clicks

WHITE HALL — Playing together for the first time since being no-hit by Gwatney Chevrolet (Jacksonville) on June 26, Smart Dodge’s offense showed up in a big way against Stuttgart.

Smart Dodge beat Stuttgart 11-0 in a five-inning, run-rule shortened game Monday night at White Hall High School.

“Some of these guys play on Babe Ruth, but this is the first time for this group of guys playing together since then,” Smart Dodge head coach Chris Bryan said regarding the game against Gwatney.

“We hit the ball well overall,” Chris Bryan said. “We put a little pressure on their defense to try and make some plays and some throws most of which they weren’t able to make.”

Smart Dodge took no time getting on the scoreboard.

Bailey Smith and Chase Bryan walked to start the home half of the first inning and both came into score on Antoine Luster’s line-drive double to right field. Luster later scored on a wild pitch to give Smart Dodge a 3-0 lead after one inning.

Luster’s hit was just one of several hard hit balls that gave Stuttgart’s outfield trouble.

“I told them before the game, ‘I want you guys to go out and swing the bats,’” Chris Bryan said. “They did a good job, though, when the pitcher was struggling of making him work and taking some pitches.”

Smart Dodge tacked on two runs in the third inning and then broke the game open with a six-run fourth inning.

Bryan led off the third with a double and came around to score on a pair of Stuttgart errors. Cantwell reached on the first of those two errors and scored on the second one.

With one out in the fourth, Bryan walked and, following a strikeout by Luster, moved to second on a single by Dylan Cantwell.

An error by Stuttgart’s left fielder Keanan Davis allowed Bryan and Cantwell to score.

After a walk and wild pitch, Jared Chavis lined a two-run single to center, but got thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

Coming off a game they got no-hit, Smart Dodge pitchers Luster, Chavis and Cade Canada almost combined to achieve the same feat.

Luster and Chavis each pitched two innings, while Canada came in to pitch the final inning.

“All three of them did really well out there,” Chris Bryan said. “We had each of them on a strict two-inning limit.”

Luster gave up no hits with four strikeouts, while Chavis gave up no hits and struck out one.

Canada gave up two hits with one strikeout in his one inning of work.

Chase Bryan led the Smart Dodge offensive attack going 1-for-1 with two walks and three runs scored. Luster finished with two RBIs as did Chavis, while Reese Roberts reached on a walk and HBP in his only two plate appearances.