HARDIN VALLEY — A fast start propelled the Hardin Valley Academy baseball team to a crucial District 4-AAA victory over Bearden Friday, April 22.
The Hawks (20-6 overall, 7-4 in the district) scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back in a 10-4 win over Bearden at home on Alumni Night at HVA.
“Our kids did a great job,” Hawks coach Joe Michalski said. “They responded really well after we didn’t play well [in a 6-1 loss] at Farragut on Thursday [April 21].
“I think the kids wanted to come out and prove they could play. Honestly, we just came out and had a different approach.”
Michalski also noted that he’s hoping that Friday’s victory over the Bulldogs (21-9, 9-3) will be the boost that his squad needs to make another deep postseason run in 2016. One, similar to last year’s, that resulted in a Class AAA State Championship.
“I’m hoping that we can get some momentum from this,” he said. “We came out and we had a lot of energy.”
In the win, the Hawks scored three runs in the first inning off Bearden junior and ace hurler David Beam. Beam stifled Hardin Valley in the second but surrendered five more runs in the bottom of the third as HVA took an 8-0 lead.
Hardin Valley pounded out 12 hits against the Bulldogs. Tyler Thompson led the offensive attack. He went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs. He also knocked in a run. Dawson Byard and Dylan Harris each had two hits, including a double.
Harris scored two runs while Byard had an RBI. Tyler Green and Cam Fisher each had a hit and stole a base. Green scored twice and drove in a run. Fisher had a pair of runs batted in and scored once.
Harris started on the mound. He gave up three runs (one earned) and five hits in five innings. He had seven strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter.
“Dylan threw the ball well,” Michalski said. “He came out and threw strikes.”
Bearden coach John Rice was impressed with Harris, who had a solid performance while also serving as Hardin Valley’s leadoff hitter.
“Their starter did a great job,” Rice said. “Hardin Valley had a great effort and they played a great game.
“We weren’t the best version of ourselves but I don’t want to take anything away from Hardin Valley and their outstanding effort.”
Harris gave way to relief pitcher Nathan Johnson in the sixth. Johnson surrendered a run and a hit in his outing.
The Bulldogs, who finished with six hits against the Hawks, scored three runs in the in the fourth to trim HVA’s lead to 8-3 before the Hawks scored twice in the bottom of the frame.
Bearden, which added a run in the seventh, had only two players who could solve Hardin Valley’s masterful pitching. Beam and Clark Poynter each had three hits. Beam went 3-for-4 with a double. He scored a run and drove in another. Poynter was 3-for-3. He also doubled, had an RBI and scored.
“David and Clark both hit the ball well,” Rice said. “David didn’t have his best stuff on the mound but he made up for it with his bat.”
Beam yielded eight runs (seven earned) and six hits in 2 1/3 innings. He had two strikeouts before giving way to Thomas Wilson, who finished the game.