Bearden stays alive, ends Irish season

Harrison Moseley played the hero for Bearden High School’s baseball team Monday night, May 7.

Moseley’s RBI single gave the Bulldogs a 7-6 victory over Knoxville Catholic in an elimination game in the District 4-AAA Tournament at John Heatherly Field /The Ballpark at Farragut.

If not for a freshman reserve on the Bulldogs bench, Moseley and Bearden might have seen their 2018 season come to an end.

Down 6-5, KCHS tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning before a double by Rece Harpst appeared to score Brock Hart with the go-ahead Irish run.

But freshman Drew Sliwinski saw that Hart didn’t touch second base on his way home. Sliwinski, a regular on Bearden’s junior varsity roster, implored Bulldogs head coach John Rice to appeal the play.

Rice was glad he did, as Bearden’s longtime coach won the appeal and the call was overturned. Harpst’s double stood, but the potential go-ahead run was taken off the scoreboard as Hart was ruled out. He was the third out of the inning.

“If Drew Sliwinski hadn’t been paying attention, we wouldn’t have appealed,” Rice said. “We wouldn’t have won the appeal and we probably don’t win the game.”

The Bulldogs (19-15) were more than happy to get out of the inning. Bearden wasted little time scoring a go-head run of its own in the top of the seventh.

Ross McKenry led off the frame with a double and was lifted for courtesy runner Cooper Denton, who would score when Moseley singled with two outs.

“Getting that hit just felt great,” Moseley said. “I was just trying to put us back ahead. I thought we were going to extras for a while.”

Bearden, however, didn’t have to work any overtime to advance as Bulldogs relief pitcher Tyler Myers retired Catholic (23-16) in order in the bottom of the seventh.

KCHS head coach Caleb Moore said the loss was tough to take but also praised his Irish players.

“This is tough, but my kids have nothing to hang their heads about,” Moore said. “They played hard and they battled all night.”

Rice agreed.

“You have to give Catholic credit. They played hard and they battled, and so did we,” he said. “This was one of those typical District 4-AAA Tournament games. We’re fortunate to be moving on.”

The Bulldogs got off to a quick and hot start.

Bearden jumped out to a 2-0 lead when McKenry, a senior catcher, parked a two-run homer over the left-field fence. Leadoff man Spencer Glover, who walked to begin the game, scored ahead of McKenry on his round-tripper.

The sixth-seeded Bulldogs doubled their advantage in the fourth, as freshman designated hitter Bryson Trammell had a two-run double that plated pinch runner Caden Rector (who entered the game after Nate Adkins walked) and John Beam, who also doubled.

Bearden added another run in the top of the third. Moseley led off the frame with a double and took third when Matt Schultz singled.

Moseley came home with the game’s fifth run when Patrick Boles reached on a fielder’s choice.

Then, the fifth-seeded Irish began to mount a comeback.

Harpst clubbed a two-run homer in the fourth before Catholic knotted things with a three-run fifth, which saw the Irish get scoring singles from Hart and Cooper Whitt and an RBI double from Harpst.

Bearden regained the lead when Schultz had a sacrifice fly that plated Jacob Balsley to make it 6-5.

The Irish tied things in the sixth before Rice’s appeal set the stage for Moseley’s late-game heroics.