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Charger line-up shake-up provides better effort

Charger line-up shake-up provides better effort
Charger line-up shake-up provides better effort | Westview, Blake Parham, Nick Shell, Chargers, Milan Bulldogs baseball,

May the Force be with you — Westview second baseman Blake Parham (center) flips the baseball to shortstop Nick Shell to get the force out during the Chargers’ tough 3-2 loss to Milan on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Joey Guest
Westview first-year skipper Chad Levister knew he had to shake things up after a gut-wrenching 23-2 loss at Milan on Monday. And his plan almost led to a victory in Martin against those same Bulldogs the next afternoon. Behind a lineup of mostly underclassmen, the Chargers battled until the final out, falling 3-2 in a strong pitchers’ duel between Milan’s Christian Coleman and Westview’s Adam Garner.
“We did not compete yesterday,” Levister said. “My goal today was to shake up the lineup and put in all young guys. They’re all hungry to play, and obviously it worked, because today we competed for a full seven innings. We didn’t come out with a win, but we accomplished our goal by competing in the whole game.” Garner pitched a complete seven innings, giving up eight hits and no earned runs, while striking out 11. Against Milan’s No. 4 and No. 5 hitters, he tallied six strikeouts and no hits in eight at-bats. “He fought the whole way. I told the other guys that when someone is competing that hard on the mound, you have to stay focused and compete that hard for him to try to get him the win. It didn’t work out tonight, but it’s a step in the right direction,” Levister said.
Coleman was equally impressive for the Bulldogs as the big right-hander scattered six hits over six innings, allowing one earned run and striking out eight.
Westview got on the board first in the bottom of the fourth when Travis Garner earned a lead-off walk, reached second base on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Shell and found his way to third by escaping a rundown when Coleman caught him between the bags on a hit back to the mound by Kyle Coleman. A one-out walk to Quentin Walker loaded the bases for Zach Austin, who sent a shot past the glove of third-baseman Miles Anderson to score Travis Garner. The next two batters failed to reach, and the Chargers left the bases loaded with a 1-0 lead.
Adam Garner struck out Tarin Coleman to start the fifth, but a walk, a double and two errors plated two runs as the Bulldogs took a 2-1 advantage. Two more Westview errors allowed Milan’s Taylor Paterson to reach second base in the top of the sixth, and Caleb Powell’s blast to the center field fence scored Paterson for a 3-1 Bulldog lead.
Shell was hit by a pitch to open the bottom of the sixth and promptly stole second and third as Milan catcher Zach Denton lost sight of a passed ball. Two batters later, Walker blasted a scorcher through short for an RBI single to cut Westview’s deficit to 3-2.
Milan brought in Powell to close the seventh, and he promptly earned the save with a 1-2-3 final inning. Milan improved to 12-3-1 (2-0 District 13-AA), while Westview fell to 5-12 (0-4). The Chargers return to action at 6 p.m., Thursday, when they host Union City.
Editor’s Note: Joey Guest is a free-lance writer and associate editor of Pressbox1.com. He can be reached at joeyguest1@yahoo.com or at 731-332-1164.

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