Defending AAA champs start with a setback

KNOXVILLE — The 2020 baseball season opened on a losing note for the defending Class AAA state champion Farragut Admirals Monday, March 9.

FHS had a few scoring opportunities, but were turned away by Knox West in a 2-0 Runnin’ Rebels District 4-AAA victory at KWHS’s Lindsay-Hawkins Field in the season opener for both schools.

The Ads and the Rebels were knotted in a scoreless deadlock until the bottom of the sixth inning, when West designated hitter R.J. Collins delivered a two-RBI single with one out in the frame.

Farragut had its chances, but left the bases loaded in the third inning. Jake Dallas was hit by a pitch with one out. Reece Valeriano followed with a single. One out later, Bryce Burkey (who went 2-for-3) singled to load the bases. A fly ball to deep center field ended the threat.

The Admirals ended with four hits, which included Hudson Seigler’s double.

“We hit the ball hard, but when we did it was right at somebody,” Farragut head coach Matt Buckner said. “Then, we couldn’t catch a ball and they were able to take advantage of it.

“We couldn’t get a big hit. ... We’re just going to have to grow up and get a little better,” he added.