KNOXVILLE — Bearden High School’s baseball team found itself behind early in its recent game against Knoxville Catholic High School.
The Irish scored three first-inning runs and the Bulldogs never could catch up after falling behind and the result was a 10-4 loss for Bearden in its second game of the Scott Dean Memorial Tournament on Thursday, April 14, at Phil Garner Ballpark.
The Bulldogs (18-7) opened tournament play earlier in the day by routing South-Doyle 14-2.
“We just didn’t get the breaks [against Catholic] today,” Bulldogs coach John Rice said. “We’ve been here for six hours today and we had a good competition with them.
“They hit the ball hard later in the game. But in that first inning, they scored three runs when they didn’t hit the ball particularly hard. “They hit four balls that didn’t get out of the infield.”
The Irish may not have gotten the ball out of the infield much in the opening frame. Catholic did, however, take advantage of a fielding miscue by Bearden, which would go on to commit five errors in the contest.
KCHS (10-9) cashed in and took a 2-0 lead on an error by the Bulldogs. The Irish also scored a run on a sacrifice fly by Hunter Judd.
Bearden answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. David Beam started things with a double and later scored when Brandon Trammell belted a two-run homer.
Trammell and Beam were the two big offensive stars of the Bulldogs, who couldn’t quite get over the hump after surrendering three runs out of the gate.
Trammell went 3-for-3 with a run, a double, a homer and two runs batted in. Beam had two hits and scored twice.
“Brandon and David both hit the ball hard,” Rice said. “We competed and we played hard.”
Catholic extended its advantage to 5-2 with two more runs in the top of the second inning. The Irish took a 4-2 lead when Tyler Hayes drew a bases-loaded walk and added another run when Judd drove in his second run of the contest on a single that plated right fielder Brock Hart.
Although the Bulldogs faced an uphill climb all night, Trammell said that he and his teammates hung tough.
“We never quit and we just keep fighting,” Trammell said. “We battled and we kept fighting all night.
“We were hitting the ball hard but they were just getting to it.”
Brady Duncan started on the mound for the Bulldogs but he had a rough outing and didn’t make it out of the second inning.
He gave way to junior Keith Gabrielson, who was able to keep things close until. He surrendered a run in the top of the third but pitched his way out of a jam after Hart had an RBI single that made the score 6-2.
“I’m really proud of Keith,” Rice said. “Keith really threw well. He had problems locating his curve ball at times.
“But when he was able to get that working, he did a really good job and he threw well.”
Gabrielson noted that coming in with his team behind presented a challenge for him.
“It’s tough to come in like that,” Gabrielson said. “But I just have to keep my focus.
“That was a really tough loss.”
Gabrielson also made an impact with his bat in the bottom of the fourth. He had a one-out single before being lifted for courtesy runner Caleb Galik. Galik scored on an RBI single by Ross McKenry to make the score 6-3.
Catholic all put the game out of reach with three runs in the sixth as Augie Fortune and Logan Creech had doubles, Fortune’s extra-base hit drove in two runs while Creech’s two-bagger plated another run.
The Irish scored a run on another Bearden error in the seventh.
Trammell drove in Bearden’s last run when he was hit by a pitch.