Despite Hardin Valley Academy baseball losing 10-6 to Oak Ridge in the Region 2-4A semifinals Friday, May 12, “We were in no way panicked, and I knew that we had the depth to be able to come out and compete,” said HVA head coach Tyler Roach, whose Hawks bounced back to earn a sectional berth Saturday, May 13.
Wins versus Knox Central (11-4) and Oak Ridge (11-3) at Carson-Newman University gave HVA the Region 2-4A runner-up spot, sending the Hawks on the road in sectionals against a tough Johnson City Science Hill team beginning today (Wednesday, May 17) in a best two-of-three format.
“They’ve been ranked first in the state all year, and we’ve been ranked second, so it’s going to be great baseball,” Roach said. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere.”
A near perfect relay throw from Herny Ferguson, Hawks shortstop, cut down an Oak Ridge baserunner trying to tie the game on a two-out double in the top of the sixth inning, leaving HVA up 4-3 Saturday.
“Henry Ferguson had a great day defensively. A great relay play that saved us a (tying) run,” Roach said of the senior, who also had two hits.
A leadoff triple and RBI single by Caden Channell, both in the sixth inning, and Ty Denton’s three-RBI double highlighted a seven-run sixth inning to put the game on ice.
Winning pitcher Adam Baker went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs, six hits and three walks with three strikeouts.