Clean district sweep, then sectional berth once again earned by FHS baseball

Behind 15 hits — many of them very timely — Farragut High School’s baseball team beat Karns 11-5 at FHS’s John Heatherly Field in a Region 2-4A semifinal, a win-or-go-home situation, Monday evening, May 16.

“Any win this time of year is what you want,” Farragut head coach Matt Buckner said. “It wasn’t pretty, obviously. We did a lot of things poorly. We didn’t pitch all that great. We didn’t play defense all that great. But we won. We get a win on Friday and we go to the state tournament.”

The win set up a Wednesday, May 18, region final against Powell (after deadline), as the District 3-4A champion Panthers ended Bearden’s strong post-season run, 1-0, Monday in the other region semifinal.

Farragut and Powell will advance to the state Sectional round Friday, May 20, leaving both just one win from next week’s TSSAA state tournament in Murfreesboro.

Monday’s six-run margin of victory is a bit misleading. When Karns scored two runs in the top of the fifth, Farragut led only 7-5.

It took two runs by the Admirals in the fifth and sixth innings to put the game away.

Sophomore relief pitcher Stratton Scott, who took over from Admirals senior ace Jaxson Pease in the fifth, killed a bases-loaded Beavers rally in the seventh with two strikeouts to end the game.

Farragut led 2-0 after one, and 3-1 after two. In the top of the third, the Beavers tied it 3-3 on two singles and two walks. They might have led 4-3, but the inning ended when Karns’s Clayton Haugstad was thrown out at the plate.

Farragut promptly made it 7-3 in its half of the third inning behind four RBI singles.

It looked like the Admirals might cruise from there. But the scrappy Beavers then made it 7-5 in the fifth.

After going up 9-5 in its half of the fifth, Farragut put it away in the sixth when Jett Johnston hit a towering two-run homer over the left-centerfield fence.

Johnston wasn’t sure he’d ever hit one that hard.

“Got the good part of the bat on it and took it for a ride,” said Johnston, a junior infielder and pitcher. “Kind of watched it for a sec. Umpire told me to get going.”