KNOXVILLE — A vengeance-seeking flock of Hawks descended on Phil Garner BallPark at Bearden High School Wednesday evening, Apr. 27.
When they left, Hardin Valley Academy’s baseball team had dealt Bearden a 17-1 run-ruled District 4-4A loss. The win avenged Bearden’s 8-4 road win over HVA Monday, April 11.
Hawks skipper Tyler Roach was pleased, not only with his team’s dominance, but also how he thinks his team is coming together at the right time.
“We swung the bat, we’re starting to play our baseball at the right time and we’re getting hot at the right time,” he said. “Hopefully we can carry that into the postseason.”
Swing the bat HVA did.
The Hawks had more runs than they needed before there were even two outs in the first inning.
With one out in the first, HVA loaded the bases behind two walks and a hit batsman. Third baseman Will Webb then hit a bases-clearing double. First baseman Jacob Dillon then doubled home Webb, and it was 4-0 after one.
The second inning was far worse for the Bulldogs. The first seven HVA batters got base hits, scoring six runs and making it 10-0. By the time the inning ended it was 12-0.
“You gotta pitch,” Bulldogs head coach Dave Prichard said. “We gave them some confidence and they couldn’t not get a hit. We gotta do a better job pitching. That’s been our Achilles heel all year.”
Hardin Valley added five more in the third. Bulldog pitchers gave up numerous walks as well as hits.
Hawks pitcher Logan Ozias went four innings, giving up one run and three hits. He struck out eight. Bearden’s lone run came in the third when an Evan Goins double scored Luke Seagrist, who had singled.
It was the final district game for both teams. HVA (7-3) finished second and will get a bye in the district tournament while hosting opening-round games starting this week. The Bulldogs (2-8) finished last.
“We’ve started to play our game and our best baseball toward the end,” Roach said. “We’re throwing and catching, competing on the mound. We’re getting hot at the right time, which is what I’ve challenged our guys to do all year.”