Despite seeing his team post a run-rule victory in a key District 4-AAA rivalry game at home, Matt Buckner, Farragut High School baseball head coach, wasn’t happy.
“I thought we played sloppy but at the end of the day, we won the game,” Buckner said after his Admirals routed Bearden 15-5 in six innings at John Heatherly Field/The Ballpark at Farragut Wednesday, March 29. “I can’t speak for them, but it was a very poorly played game on our part. We won but we’ve got to get better.”
The Ads may have won easily but they found themselves behind early as the Bulldogs [3-9 overall, 2-2 in the district after the game] took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
Bearden leadoff hitter Clark Poynter reached on an error to lead off the game and David Beam singled to put runners on first and second. Both would score two outs later on Prater Knight’s two-run double.
Farragut [11-1, 4-1 after the win], however, didn’t stay behind long. And the Admirals didn’t need a hit to take the lead in the bottom of the opening frame. They scored three runs in their half of the first inning with the aid of two Bearden errors and four walks.
Parker Noland reached on an error and came home when Bearden’s Brandon Trammell uncorked a wild pitch. Chandler Chambers, who drew a free pass, scored on an error by the Bulldogs. Farragut scored its third run of the inning when Jake Grooms walked with the bases loaded.
Trammell walked two batters and hit another in the second. Farragut picked up another run on a wild pitch, which allowed Chambers to score to make it 4-2. Trammell, who lasted just 2 1/3 innings, walked six before being lifted. He did have four strikeouts
“We took our walks today,” Buckner said.
Farragut finally got into the hit column in the third. The Admirals scored four times
on three hits. Cade Burkey singled and scored on an error before Jake Hagenow delivered a three-run double to give FHS an 8-2 lead.
Hagenow, who drove in six runs, said the Admirals scrapped their way to victory.
“My take on this game is that we won because we were quick, patient and scrappy,” he said. “If we want to win, we have to be scrappy.
“We have to be scrappy if we want to win because we don’t have that one power bat that we’ve had here in the past.”
Hagenow had another three-run double in the fourth. In that inning, the Admirals scored five runs on just two hits. Carson Wright and Chandler Chambers both had bases-loaded walks in the frame.
Farragut would end the game when Brad Grankoski walked with the bases loaded.
Bearden, which has endured its share of struggles early in 2017, scored two runs in the top of the fourth on a two-run double by Trammel.
The Bulldogs added another run in the fifth when Nick Adkins singled home Poynter, who singled.
Bearden head coach John Rice said this was another long night in a season full of struggles. “This has been tough and we’re really disappointed,” Rice said. “But it’s like I told the guys, you don’t have a lot of options when you’re struggling.
“You can quit or you can keep battling. Our kids are not quitters, so we’re going to keep battling,” he added. “We know we’ve been struggling and we’ve all accepted our responsibility for that, including me. I’ve accepted my responsibility
in this and I thought Buck’s
guys did a good job competing tonight.”