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Champs Retire Jared Carkuff’s Jersey Before Sweeping Grundy County in Game Two

Noah Maddox
Posted 4/24/24

The Cascade Champions completed their District 9-AA regular season with a series sweep against Grundy County that featured the jersey retirement of former great, Jared Carkuff.

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Champs Retire Jared Carkuff’s Jersey Before Sweeping Grundy County in Game Two



The Cascade Champions jumped on the Grundy County Yellow Jackets in the top of the first inning on Monday and never looked back in a 15-4 win in game one of their District 9-AA series.

Jordan Childress led things off with a double in the first inning, and after three consecutive baserunners reached via free passes given out by Yellow Jackets’ starter Gavin Knight, Logan Green singled into left field to drive home two more runs and take a 3-0 lead. After James Magee doubled home another run, Green scored on a wild pitch and then Logan Pulley drove home the sixth run of the inning on a groundout to the second baseman. 

Walker Craig got the start on the mound for Cascade, and he went five complete innings on 90 pitches, giving up six hits and four runs with two of them being earned. He struck out seven batters while walking three, and he picked up the win.

Zach Crosslin relieved him for the sixth and seventh innings with only one batter reaching safely – via an error – while he struck out one on just 16 pitches.

Grundy County was far less successful on the mound than the visitors as evidenced by the six-run first inning, and the Champions continued to put the pressure on the hosts at the plate. They scored two more runs in the third inning to extend their lead to 8-0, but then Grundy County made a little bit of a push. 

The Yellow Jackets plated two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings while their pitching held Cascade scoreless to cut the lead to 8-4. Unfortunately for Grundy County, the dam broke in the top of the sixth inning, as reliever Cadon Dove gave up three runs in the inning and then gave up four more in the top of the seventh to end any hope of a comeback for the hosts. 

Gavin Knight, despite the rough start, ended up going 3.2 innings on 90 pitches, giving up five hits and eight runs with five of them earned. He struck out six batters, but he also handed out four free passes while hitting a pair of batters. 

Cadon Dove went 3.1 innings in relief, giving up seven hits and seven runs – all earned – while walking five and striking out four on 87 pitches in the 15-4 home defeat. 


Before game two of the series, the Cascade Champions honored one of their own, Jared Carkuff, with a jersey retirement ceremony that included Carkuff throwing out the first pitch. Carkuff, who recently accepted the head coaching position for the football team in mid-March, reached the state tournament all four years as a player at Cascade, and he posted a career ERA of less than 1.00. He went on to play baseball at Austin Peay, and reached Triple-A in both the Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres organization after being drafted in the 35th round in 2016.

Afterwards, the Cascade Champions clinched at least a share of first place in District 9-AA with a 7-3 win in game two against Grundy County to complete the series sweep.

Powered by Jayden Hathcock’s dominant performance on the mound in just his second start returning from injury, the Cascade offense once again took off in the first inning. 

Thanks to a Walker Craig three-run home run and a James Magee RBI single in the bottom of the first inning, the Champions took a 4-1 lead over the visiting Yellow Jackets that they never gave up.

Walker Craig (9) celebrates after his go-ahead three-run home run.
Walker Craig (9) celebrates after his go-ahead three-run home run.

Hathcock went six complete innings on the mound, giving up only three hits and three runs with only one of them – the first inning run – being earned. He struck out eight batters while only walking two on 91 pitches in a performance that was a complete 180 from what he showed at Chapel Hill in the previous series.

Jayden Hathcock (14) was back to his dominant self against Grundy County.
Jayden Hathcock (14) was back to his dominant self against Grundy County.

Grundy did find two runs in the third to cut the lead to 4-3, but both of those came via errors in the field. Afterwards, Hathcock retired eight consecutive Yellow Jackets to allow his offense to put up two insurance runs in the fifth inning and one more in the sixth against Jaxson Woodlee and Isaac Martin.

Woodlee, the starter for the visitors, went five complete innings on 104 pitches, giving up five hits and six runs with five of them being earned. He struck out seven batters and walked three, and gave up that one home run to Craig in the first inning.

Martin came in for Woodlee in the sixth, giving up one run while walking three. 

Travis Sheffield brought in Zach Crosslin to close things out in the seventh inning, and Crosslin, despite giving up a one-out double to Peyton McGee, posted his third consecutive scoreless inning against Grundy County to close out the 7-3 victory.

Cascade left eight base runners stranded on the night, so the damage could have been even worse for the Yellow Jackets, who drop to 2-6 in district play. The Champions improve to 6-2 in district play, and 13-6 overall. They are scheduled to travel to Marshall County on Friday night in game one of a two game series that will conclude on Monday evening at The Ballpark in Bell Buckle.

Cascade Champions, Grundy County Yellow Jackets, Walker Craig, Jayden Hathcock, Jared Carkuff