It was win-or-go-home for Bearden High School’s baseball team Monday night, May 9, against Maryville in an elimination game of the 4-4A District Tournament at Farragut High School.
After six innings, the visiting Bulldogs were down 6-5.
But a three-run rally in the seventh won the game 8-5, setting up another elimination game versus Heritage Tuesday, May 10 (after deadline).
“Fight, fight, fight, that’s all we can do,” Bulldogs head coach Dave Prichard said. “Not that it’s an advantage, but I think we’re swinging well and now we’re getting deep into the pitching staff.”
The game-winning rally started with a double by second baseman Brady Frederick. Shortstop Evan Goins followed with a double, scoring Frederick for a 6-6 tie.
Catcher Brooks Wright walked, setting up a single by third baseman Tripp Spencer, which scored Goins, making it 7-6 Bearden. Pinch-runner Case Simpson went to third, then scored on centerfielder Luke Seagrist’s single.
“Man, we just told ‘em to give us everything they’ve got and that’s what we got,” Prichard said of the clutch late rally. “I’m just happy to be playing (Tuesday).”
Bearden took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first with three straight hits and a wild pitch. Four hits by the Rebels tied it in the third.
The Bulldogs then led 5-3 in the fourth on run-scoring singles by Parker Coe and Seagrist, only to see Maryville tie it in the bottom of the fourth.
A leadoff home run by first baseman Daniel Hughes gave Maryville a 6-5 lead in the sixth. Bearden then answered with its game-winning rally in the seventh.
“I wish we could have offense like that for all our pitchers but I’m glad we got it when we did,” said Wright. “This really gives us confidence for the rest of the tournament.”
Isaiah Whited started for Bearden and went three and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs and eight hits. Frederick relieved and pitched effectively the rest of the game.
The Bulldogs’ Tuesday night matchup against Heritage is another elimination game. A win there would pit them against Hardin Valley, for the right to face Farragut for the district title. Farragut beat HVA 6-2 Monday night.
Bearden split in the regular season with both Heritage and Hardin Valley. On Sunday they lost to HV 2-1 in the tournament.
“I like our chances tomorrow,” said Prichard. “You never know; we’re just gonna show up every day and fight fight fight.”