Tyler Roach and his Hardin Valley Academy Hawks found another way to defeat Farragut baseball, which came in a huge postseason game on the road Monday evening, May 10.
Pulling off the so-called miracle comeback at HVA earlier this season — overcoming a 12-5 seventh-inning deficit to score eight runs and actually claim a 13-12 walk-off win — the Hawks struck fast this time.
“That’s the first time we’ve done that (versus FHS) since I’ve been here, two years,” HVA head coach Tyler Roach said of his team scoring three first-inning runs while taking advantage of Ads errors, four overall, and walks with clutch hitting and stellar pitching from junior starter Connor O’Donnell (4 2/3 innings) and sophomore Adam Baker (2 1/3).
The result was a 7-2 victory in this District 4-AAA tourney winner’s bracket game at John Heatherly Field/The Ballpark at Farragut.
O’Donnell allowed one earned run, five hits, two walks and one hit batter with four strikeouts. Baker allowed no earned runs, one hit, no walks with three strikeouts.
The junior pitcher “was awesome today, he threw strikes. He velocity was 86, 87 (mph),” Roach said, as the No. 2-seeded Hawks (27-6) are guaranteed a Region 2-AAA berth.
Baker “wanted this game, threw great,” the HVA coach added. “I was extremely proud of him.”
Meanwhile, the top-seeded Ads fell to 31-5 and were playing to keep their season alive Tuesday evening, May 11 (after press deadline) against the loser’s bracket winner. A champ was crowned, weather permitting, Wednesday, May 12.
“They played well and we didn’t play very well,” FHS head coach Matt Buckner said.
A error, two walks and a Ty Denton single came before an RBI walk from Austin Bolding and an RBI single from Austin King. A Brycen Denton RBI groundout made it 3-0 quickly.
A Brycen Denton single, plus an error to keep the HVA fourth alive, ended with a two-RBI single from Carson Hoffmeister making it 5-1.
Another infield error resulted in another unearned run in the fifth, as Logan Ozias’ doubled off the left-center field wall. It was now 6-1.
Yet another Ads error turned into a run in the seventh. Jaylen Jones’ double upped the lead to 7-2.
Farragut’s first run came after Tanner Kim’s RBI single in the third, scoring right fielder Bryce Burkety — 4-AAA MVP — who singled.
Sloppy Hawks defense, along with two walks, allowed an Ads run in the fifth. Brennon Seigler and Angus Pence led FHS with two hits each.