KNOXVILLE — Bearden High School baseball coach John Rice saw his team avenge its early-season District 4-AAA loss to Maryville on Wednesday, April 20. But he felt he had to keep the victory in its proper place.
“This was one of those days when the stars were aligned and just about everything went right for us,” Rice said after his Bulldogs routed the Red Rebels 14-1in a five-inning game at Phil Garner Ballpark. “We came out and we hit the ball well. They didn’t do anything out of the ordinary to deserve for us to be on fire like we were.
“It was just one of those days and that’s why baseball is a double-elimination sport. Every game is so much different than every other game. It was great for us to get a conference win because it’s hard to get a win in this conference. We’ve got to scratch this one and go get ready to get another one.”
Maryville (10-17 overall, 4-7 in District 4-AAA) squandered an early scoring chance in top of the first inning designated hitter Jake Rice had a one-out single and later advanced to third when Matt Young doubled. Bearden pitcher Brady Duncan seemed to struggle a bit out of the gate. He was, however, able to elude damage when Mason Fry flew out to end the frame.
“I didn’t have my best stuff but it’s just good to go out and get a zero when you’re the home team,” Duncan said.
Duncan’s first inning set the tone for the entire contest.
Bearden (21-8, 9-2) struck early and often as the Bulldogs plated seven runs in the bottom of the frame. Bearden pounded Maryville starter and sophomore left hander Will Orren for three consecutive hits. Bryson Ford and Duncan singled and Ford scored on David Beam’s hit to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Brandon Trammell then walked to load the bases.
Clark Poynter drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Ford, who hit twice in the inning, picked up an RBI when he drew a bases-loaded walk. Duncan had an RBI single on his second time up in the inning. Prater Knight also walked and drove in a run and Paul Underwood had an RBI single in an inning that saw the Bulldogs get five hits and send 12 hitters to the plate.
“We really came out and jumped on them,” Poynter said. “It’s another win for us in the district.
“We hit the ball well and we all played well all around.”
After Duncan and the defense extinguished another threat by the Red Rebels in the second, Bearden put up another seven spot in the second as Andrew Jones entered to pitch after Orren misery-riddled first inning.
Orren got out of the first but Jones couldn’t finish the second. He gave up seven runs and six hits in 2/3 of an inning. He gave way to Brian Tillery after surrendering doubles to Trammell, Underwood and Poynter. Underwood’s double scored a run and Poynter knocked in two. Bearden also scored on a wild pitch and got RBI singles from Ford and Beam.
A defensive miscue by Maryville allowed the Bulldogs to plate another run before Tillery recorded the final out of the frame.
Red Rebels coach Adam Sullivan was extremely disappointed after his team’s lackluster performance.
“This is not about them and what they did,” Sullivan said. “It doesn’t matter that we beat them the first time.
“This is about us. We didn’t pitch well. Brian Tillery pitched well but by then, it was just too late.”
Beam said that Bearden accomplished what it set out to do.
“We wanted to come out and be aggressive,” he said. “We were looking for fast balls and we were able to sit on those.
“We all hit really well today.”
Maryville got its lone run of the contest when Young grounded out in the fifth to plate Rice, who reached on a single.