Turning a rare triple play courtesy of freshman shortstop Lukas Cook, Hardin Valley Academy also stunned Farragut with three innings of no-hit work from senior Nathan Johnson, Hawks starting pitcher, enroute to a 3-0 HVA lead entering the fourth inning.
But a catcher’s interference call, coming with one out and none on base, touched off an offensive surge from coach Matt Buckner’s Admirals in the fourth.
Seven runs crossed that inning as Farragut [24-4 overall, 9-1 in Disrict 4-AAA after the game] rallied to win this District 4-AAA showdown 10-3 at HVA Monday evening, April 17. The Hawks fell to 10-10 overall [no district record given after the game].
“A couple of people get on, we get a hit, and that gets everything going,” said Parker Noland, FHS sophomore third baseman, who contributed an RBI double and RBI single.
Having to come from a few runs down “is not the first time its happened this season. We’ve gotten down early in a lot of games,” said Jake Hagenow, Admirals senior catcher who blasted a solo home run in the fifth inning. “I think it shows the character of this team.”
“The first three innings, their pitcher came out and shut us down,” said Brad Grenkoski, FHS sophomore right fielder, who struck a two-RBI double in the fourth and added an infield hit.
Senior Jake Grooms, designated hitter, crushed what turned out to be an RBI single off the left field wall. He added a sacrifice fly.
Cade Burkey, junior first baseman, added a two-RBI single in the fourth.
Carson Wright, senior center fielder, connected for two hits and one RBI.
Farragut starting pitcher Collin Grove, a senior, picked up the victory after some early struggles. He worked five innings, allowing two earned runs, seven hits, two hit batters and one walk with five strikeouts.
“It’s incredible, we’ve been on an amazing hot streak right now,” Grove said. “To have an offense like this, especially after a loss like Chandler Chamber, is definitely amazing.”
The FHS career of Chambers, standout senior outfielder, ended after breaking his collarbone diving for a flyball late last week.
Landon Smiddy, a sophomore, relieved Grove in the sixth and allowed no runs, no walks and one hit with two strikeouts.
Johnson went four innings for HVA, allowing six earned runs, five hits, one walk and one hit batter with four strikeouts. “Nate Johnson is a great guy. He competes as hard as he can. … He was really outstanding early,” HVA head coach Joe Michalski said.
Brock Umberger, a junior, led HVA with two hits including an RBI. Joey Leo, freshman second baseman, added an RBI single in the second inning.
Other Hawks with hits were Cook, Bryce Jenkins, Dawson Byard, Drew Parks and Trey Cash. “Lukas Cook is playing outstanding right now,” Michalski said.
About his triple play, where Cook caught a line drive, stepped on second base and threw to first to double up two runners, “It’s kind of cool, I’d never seen one before,” the freshman said.