The baseball game looked very much like it might be a last at-bat thriller between district rivals Farragut and Bearden.
Then the visiting Admirals batted in the seventh, and the drama was long gone.
Farragut erupted for six runs in the top half of the inning, turning a 3-3 nailbiter into a runaway 9-3 District 4-4A win on an evening when former Bearden star shortstop Brett Carroll received a special honor (see photos/caption below).
The Admirals, who already clinched the district title, improved to 17-9-1 overall, 8-1 in the district.
“We played really poorly offensively for about six innings,” Farragut head coach Matt Buckner said. “We didn’t pitch very well, we didn’t hit very well. Not a great performance by us — but at the end of the day we were able to get it done.”
To start the seventh, Admirals’ shortstop Lukas Buckner beat out a grounder to first for his third hit of the night. An errant pickoff attempt sent Buckner all the way to third base, where he scored on Brennon Seigler’s double.
After advancing to third on a groundout, Seigler scored on Garrett Brewer’s single. Eli Evans then launched a two-run home run to left center, and Farragut’s 7-3 lead was way more than enough.
Jett Johnston’s walk, followed by doubles by Jake Merrick and Jack Alley, finished the scoring.
“It’s a tough loss,” said Bulldogs’ skipper Dave Prichard, whose team fell to 17-12 overall, 2-7 in the district. “I challenged our guys to put it out there, and I think we did and gave ourselves a chance to win. We just didn’t hit the ball well enough to put enough pressure on them to make it uncomfortable.”
Bearden took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first without getting a hit. Leadoff batter Brady Frederick walked, advanced to third on a pair of ground-outs and scored on a balk. Case Simpson, who pinch-ran for Brooks Wright when Wright was hit by a pitch, later scored on a wild pitch.
Farragut took a 3-2 lead in the top of the third with leadoff singles by Buckner and Seigler. Landis Davila’s single scored Buckner and sent Seigler to third. Davila wound up on second on the throw from the outfield. Two batters later, Evans rifled a grounder past third, scoring Seigler and Davila.
Despite the shaky start, Admirals’ starter Jaxson Pease gave up only two hits in six innings and struck out five. Eli Miller pitched the seventh in relief.
“You gotta tip your cap to Pease, he threw a good game,” Prichard said. “He’s a good pitcher.”
Evan Goins started for Bearden, giving up three earned runs on seven hits in four innings.
“That was a poor performance for six innings.” Buckner said. “
But, to our credit, we got it done.”