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Cascade pummels Forrest for 1st region title since ’15

By CHRIS SIERS ~ sports@t-g.com
Posted 5/14/23

BELL BUCKLE — Before Saturday afternoon’s Region 4-AA championship against Forrest, Cascade coach Travis Sheffield told his son, Jaxon, who was slated to be the starting pitcher against …

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Cascade pummels Forrest for 1st region title since ’15


BELL BUCKLE — Before Saturday afternoon’s Region 4-AA championship against Forrest, Cascade coach Travis Sheffield told his son, Jaxon, who was slated to be the starting pitcher against the Rockets to “go be special.”
Was he ever.
Sheffield not only got the win on the mound, but he went 2-for-3 with a grand slam and a three-run home run to lead the Champs to the 17-6 win over Forrest.
“The dude showed up today. He’s been our foundation all year, and I don’t give him enough credit. Before the game, he and I had a conversation and I just told him to go out and be special. He just said, “Dad, I got you.” That was an amazing effort with what he did today,” Sheffield said.
While the day certainly belonged to Sheffield, Walker Craig got the party started in the bottom of the first inning on a two RBI double that hammered the center field fence, scoring Chance Brown and Noah McGeary, who led off the inning with back-to-back singles.
Sheffield followed with a perfect, 1-2-3 second inning that included a pair of strikeouts.
With a two-run lead in hand, Cascade continued to hammer Rocket starter Riley Durbin.
Conner Melson led off the second with a double to left, then Logan Pulley drew a walk to put two on with nobody out.
Logan Green then drove in a third Cascade run on another RBI double, scoring Melson.
Later in the inning, Sheffield stepped to the plate and with bases loaded, crushed a shot over the right field fence, blowing the game wide open.
Leading 7-0, Forrest answered and scored three runs in the top of the third inning off a two RBI Kason Fuller single.
The Rockets added a third run off a Cascade error and gave Forrest a bit of life, having cut the Champion lead to four runs.
But even with the three-run rally by the Rockets in the third, Cascade continued hammering the baseball and put the game well out of reach with a 10-run third inning.
Cascade chased Durbin from the game after Sheffield launched his second blast of the afternoon—a three-run shot over the right field fence again, making it a 13-3 lead for the Champs.
Cascade connected on eight hits in the inning and after Durbin exited, Forrest then turned to Ryan Meglis, who was able to get one out when Logan Pulley ground into a fielder’s choice. But the beat kept on for the Champs, who tagged the Rocket reliever for four runs before Tyler Tackett entered and got the final out of the inning.
Leading 17-3, Forrest was able to work a little two-out magic in the fourth inning and scored a fourth run on a RBI single from Durbin and then two more off a Preston Gentry two RBI double.
“That’s Forrest. Those boys swing it well. They’re never out of a baseball game. We had to use our 1A, 1B and 1C to win this game and the scoreboard nowhere near reflects the intensity and how close the game was, because they’re never out of a ball game. Having someone like Zach (Crosslin) and Walker on the back end to finish out a game is amazing. All three of those guys are our ones,” Sheffield said,
With Forrest threatening and Crosslin on the mound, Sheffield then turned to Craig to slam the door shut on the would-be Rocket rally.
Craig entered and of the five final outs of the game, he struck out four batters, including the final out of the game.
Sheffield pitched three innings and gave up three runs on three hits, while striking out four.
Crosslin pitched 1/3 of an inning before Craig entered and pitched the final 1 2/3 innings.
At the plate, it was Sheffield’s day, as he went 2-for-3 with two home runs and seven RBIs to lead Cascade.
Every batter that stepped to the plate for Cascade recorded a hit.
Senior Chance Brown went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, while McGeary, Craig and Logan Green all recorded two hits.
The win was the seventh-straight for the Champs, and the third straight win over Forrest.
“I think the boys just had to get that first one. Forrest is a great ball club and has been for years. Our guys just needed to know, one time, we could beat them. After we got the first one, they had a lot of confidence after that,” Sheffield said.
The long, and brutal gauntlet Cascade faced of upper classification teams, is paying dividends in the right time of the season.
“We played some tough teams early. We played out of our region and out of our class—and it was for a reason. I wanted to play the big teams—the 3As and the 4As. Having gone through that gauntlet, I felt like we would be fine. Our record at the first of the year didn’t reflect it, but those teams we were playing were all great teams,” Sheffield said.
The region title is the first for Cascade since 2015.
With the new postseason format, Cascade now enters the Class 2A sectional round and will host Cannon County on Thursday in a best of three series.
Cascade has faced Cannon County twice this season, with the Lions winning both meetings by scores of 4-3 and 12-4.
“This new format, we heard some grumbles about it. It keeps that No. 1 dude from pitching every championship game. We have a lot of good arms. We’ve got guys that throw the ball over the plate. Throwing strikes gives you a chance to win and we have several of those guys,” Sheffield said.
The Class 2A sectional meeting will begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, with Game 2 to follow at 8, with an if-needed game to be held at Cannon County.

Forrest 003 30 — 6 8 0
Cascade 25(10) 0x — 17 15 1

Cascade: Chance Brown 3-for-3, Noah McGeary 2-for-3, Jaxon Sheffield 2-for-3, Sawyer Lovvorn 1-for-4, Walker Craig 2-for-3, Zach Crosslin 1-for-4, Connor Melson 1-for-1, Logan Pulley 1-for-3, Logan Green 2-for-2.

WP: Sheffield
LP: Durbin