published Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Ringgold tops Syrupmakers

There were no cowbells as props in the Ringgold student section. But there was one guy with a bottle of syrup to taunt the Cairo Syrupmakers.

Cairo had few answers to the taunts and fewer answers on the field as Ringgold swept the doubleheader 5-3 and 7-1 in the second round of the Class AAA state baseball playoffs Wednesday.

"We pretty much expected to move on, not to sound cocky," said Adam Weldon, the winning pitcher in the second game. "It's good to move on, and we had the mindset that we were going to do it."

The Tigers (27-4) will host LaGrange or Cross Creek on Tuesday in the third round.

The Tigers had a nice mix of quality pitching from Corey Kafka and Weldon, as well as contributions up and down the lineup. Catcher Andy Mochabee went 4-for-6 with three RBIs in the two games.

"I was pretty nervous in the first game and they were already up 1-0," Mochabee said. "I went up there and got a hit and drove in two."

Kafka pitched all seven innings of the first game. He allowed six hits, walked three and struck out four.

He allowed a run in the first on a walk, a sacrifice and a bloop to left field. He allowed just three more hits until the final inning.

The Tigers scored two on a double by Andy Mochabee in the second inning. They added another on a sacrifice fly by his brother Alan. Austin Parrish led off the sixth inning with a home run over the left-field fence, and Logan Baldwin drove in Andy Mochabee for Ringgold's final run.

The Syrupmakers (17-11) mounted a threat in the bottom of the seventh by scoring twice to pull within two. They had runners on third and second with two outs and their cleanup hitter, Alex Baxter, at the plate.

Kafka struck him out.

Weldon pitched an even better game. He allowed one run, five hits, two walks and struck out 12. He came within one of tying his career high of 13.

The only run he allowed came after the Tigers were up 4-0. Alan Mochabee skied a hanging curveball over the left-field fence for a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.

The Tigers added three runs in the sixth inning, which included an RBI double by Andy Mochabee, who scored on Wright Hackett's double.

"We've been getting it done on the hill all season," coach Brent Tucker said. "And hitting, each game it's somebody new."

They'll have a new challenge next week.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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