Chaffee Senior Babe Ruth baseball team's bats fall silent vs. Charleston

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Chaffee's Cody Payne heads back to the dugout after the fourth inning during Monday's Missouri Senior Babe Ruth state tournament game at Hillhouse Park in Charleston, Mo. (Laura Simon)

CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Runs were hard to come by Monday when Chaffee and Charleston hooked up at the Missouri Senior Babe Ruth state tournament.

They were impossible to come by for Chaffee, which could not dent the scoreboard and was bounced from the nine-team, double-elimination event.

Host Charleston defeated Chaffee 2-0 for the Honey Badgers' second straight tournament loss.

"We just didn't hit the ball too good," Chaffee's Cody Payne said.

Charleston also didn't knock the cover off the baseball, but the defending state champion Fighting Squirrels got timely hitting and brilliant pitching to stay alive in their bid to repeat.

Chaffee baserunner Jared Walker slides safely into second as Charleston's Tim Fox, left, and Ethan Browning wait for the ball during the fourth inning Monday at Hillhouse Park in Charleston, Mo. Check out more photos from the game in our gallery at (Laura Simon)

The Squirrels, who are 3-1 in the tournament, still need four more victories over the next two days to earn the title and a regional berth.

"We got ourselves in the losers bracket early, which is not where you want to be," Charleston coach Michael Minner said. "We're taking it one game at a time."

Charleston has posted two straight shutouts after losing to Jackson in its second tournament game Saturday.

Monday's gem was thrown by left-hander Trevor Bennett, who allowed just three hits, including two that never left the infield.

"He did a great job," Minner said.

Bennett, who struck out four and walked two, faced just two over the minimum in the seven-inning contest thanks to three double plays. Charleston also threw out a runner attempting to steal.

"I just felt good, and the defense was working," Bennett said. "They picked me up big time. I relied on my defense all game."

Bennett said he primarily used his fastball and curveball.

"I threw mainly fastballs, and I was able to throw my curveball for strikes more than usual," Bennett said.

Payne said he was surprised Chaffee didn't hit Bennett better.

"It wasn't nothing we haven't seen before. He wasn't too dominating," Payne said. "But he hit his spots."

Chaffee also got a strong pitching performance from Andrew Dooley, who worked all seven innings like Bennett.

"He threw good," said Payne, Chaffee's catcher.

Dooley allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked six.

"He gave us a remarkable performance. I couldn't have asked for anything more," Chaffee coach Aaron Horrell said. "We just couldn't get the bats going."

Charleston went ahead right away with a run in the top of the first inning.

Brad Potts led off with a walk, stole second with one out, advanced to third on a ground out and came home on a single to left field by Ryan Fortner.

Chaffee's only dangerous scoring opportunity came in the fourth inning when it put more than one runner on for the only time.

Jared Walker's hard-hit ground ball to third base was booted for Charleston's lone error.

Walker stole second and Dylan Koehler walked before Walker advanced to third on Neil Johnson's fly ball to center.

Payne's line drive to shortstop was caught, and Koehler was doubled off first to end the threat.

"Our defense has really picked it up in the postseason," Minner said.

The Squirrels made it 2-0 in the fifth inning. Bennett, who went 3 for 3, singled with one out and was replaced on the bases by Ryan Moses.

Moses advanced to second on a ground out and scored on Ethan Browning's flare single to right.

That was more than enough for Bennett, who saw his defense turn two double plays over the final three innings, including one that ended the contest.