Sweep of Dawgs for FHS baseball: 4-3 thriller

BEARDEN — Despite seeing his team earn a hard-fought victory over a bitter rival, Farragut High School baseball head coach Matt Buckner wasn’t happy.

“We should’ve won this game a lot easier than we did,” Buckner said after the Admirals notched a 4-3 victory over rival Bearden in the battle for Kingston Pike bragging rights Tuesday, March 19, at BHS’s Phil Garner Ballpark. “We left 13 or 14 runners on base.

“But give them credit, they did a good job and they’ve got a good club,” he added.

The Admirals (5-4 overall, 3-0 in District 4-4A after the win) scored the game-winning run as courtesy runner Aidan Flagg scored when Cole Draper grounded out in the top of the seventh inning.

Michael Delph led off the inning with a single and was lifted for Flagg, who took second on a wild pitch. He would also advance to third on a wild pitch before scoring on the infield groundout.

Delph retired the Bulldogs (7-1 overall, 0-1 in 4-4A after the loss) in order in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.

Farragut cashed in the scoring chance but squandered several opportunities. The Admirals stranded two runners in the first inning.

Despite scoring two runs in the second and another in the third, they left the bases loaded. FHS left one on in the fourth, two more in the sixth and two more in the seventh.

Furthermore, Farragut had at least one base runner in every inning.

The Admirals took a 2-0 lead in the second inning as Draper came up with an RBI single and Jake Merrick drew a walk with the bases loaded.

The visitors would extend their advantage to 3-0 in the third as Delph came home when Lukas Buckner walked with the bases loaded.

Bearden tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the third. The Bulldogs scored their first run without the benefit of a hit.

Farragut starting pitcher Cade O’Leary walked Brody Benko and hit Gavin Bergeron before striking out Grayson Wright and Cameron Cooper. O’Leary hit Brooks Wright and walked Isaiah Whited to score Benko, making the score 2-1.

Delph, who started the game as the Admirals’ designated hitter, took the mound and was greeted by Riley Mahan, who promptly hit a two-run single.

“We had a bad inning there in the third,” Buckner said.