1-2 ‘Blues’ punch at FHS Invitational

HVA teams champs; FHS 2nd

The rival “two-blues,” Hardin Valley Academy and Farragut, were the top two track & field teams in both boys and girls — which included a handful of top state times, distances and personal career bests — during FHS Invitational, featuring more than 20 schools that included Mt. Juliet from the mid-state, Saturday, April 3, at Bill Parker Track.

The Hawks and Lady Hawks ruled as top teams, with the Admirals and Lady Ads close.

Hardin Valley’s 4-by-400 relay team of Aiden Shaw, Daniel Blackston, Jeremiah Jones and Austin Rome “has the state’s No. 1 time right now” after Saturday’s run, HVA head coach Bryan Brown said.

Kaden Keller, region cross country champ, won the 1600-meter run.

“Ian Salyer, our shot putter, broke the school record,” Brown said of his 49-feet-1.5 toss.

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A nice blend

Veteran leadership, freshmen starters combine as FHS b’ball starts 13-0

Entering Saturday’s DeMarini Classic in Knox County, Mt. Juliet was 12-0.

The mid-state’s Golden Bears left 12-2 following a 6-2 loss to Farragut Saturday, April 3, at FHS’s John Heatherly Field, allowing the Admirals to begin the week 13-0. (MJHS also lost at Christian Academy of Knoxville 12-0).

It was a nice blend of “senior leaders” and talented freshmen; “we started four freshmen” in the field, Ads skipper Matt Buckner said.

Farragut winning pitcher Eli Evans, yet another freshman, went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

“That’s pretty outstanding for a freshman,” Buckner said. “He showed a lot of poise right there. Really never got rattled.

“He’s got a bright future.”

On top of everything else, Evans picked off two Mt. Juliet runners at first in the fourth inning.

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Softball Ads hold off HVA

Farragut High School’s softball team kept its perfect District 4-AAA record intact late last week, as it held off a surge from league and Turkey Creek area rival Hardin Valley Academy.

The Lady Ads got off to a fast start, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning en route to capturing an 8-6 victory Thursday, April 1, on a cold evening at Bellamy Field.

FHS handed Hardin Valley (12-2 overeall) its first league loss of the season (4-1).

The Lady Ads continued their trend of scoring in the first inning. Center fielder “Ace” Strickland led off the frame for Farragut (9-1, 5-0) with a walk. She stole second and third and swiped home to give the Lady Ads a 1-0 lead.

Hardin Valley starting pitcher Denver Hogrefe then issued free passes to Sarah Livingston and Cameron Young before surrendering a three-run homer to Lady Admirals’ first baseman Lauren Brakovec, which gave FHS the early 4-0 advantage.

FHS head coach Nick Green said scoring early has been a key for his squad early this year.

“At this point, we’ve scored in the first inning of every game except for the one we lost,” he said.

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Rossford, Ohio a victim vs. BHS baseball

KNOXVILLE — Despite managing just four hits, the Bearden High School baseball team notched a comeback victory Friday, April 2.

The Bulldogs were opportunistic as they drew nine walks and got a pair of late extra-base hits in a 9-7 victory over Ohio’s Rossford High School in a battle of Bulldogs in the DeMarini Classic at Phil Garner Ballpark.

“I’ll be honest with you, this game was hard to watch,” Bearden head coach John Rice said. “You had kids (on both teams) who didn’t want to swing the bat.

“They left it in the umpire’s hands today and that’s not what you want to see in a high school baseball game,” he added. “You want to see guys hitting the ball and you want to see guys playing defense.

The homestanding Bulldogs (3-3) also saw their pitchers issue six walks and hit multiple batters, which helped Rossford (2-4-1) claw its way back into the game and take a lead after falling behind 4-0 in the bottom of the first inning.

But trailing 7-5 in the fifth inning, Bearden came up with a pair of big hits as freshman catcher Brooks Wright, a freshman and University of Tennessee commitment, led off the frame with a home run.

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Hawks double up Hilltoppers 6-3

HARDIN VALLEY — The third time was the charm for Hardin Valley Academy’s baseball team Saturday afternoon, April 3.

The Hawks exorcised some demons against Science Hill with a 6-3 victory over the Hilltoppers in the DeMarini Classic at HVA.

Science Hill had a two-game winning streak against the Hawks, having beaten them on Friday, March 26, in Northeast Tennessee, 10-8.

The Hilltoppers also ended the Hawks’ 2019 season as the notched an 8-7 win in the state sectionals.

Early in Saturday’s contest, Science Hill scored two runs in the top of the first inning. The Hilltoppers got on the board with the help of a pair of Hardin Valley miscues.

Cole Torbett singled to lead off the game. He stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He came home on a fielder’s choice by his brother, Jack. No out was recorded on the play.

Jack Torbett scored on A.J. Motte’s sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.

HVA coach Tyler Roach said he thought his team was snake-bitten against the Hilltoppers (8-5).

“I think they have a curse on us,” Roach said. “I don’t have to tell you about that substate game (in 2019) and then, we played them last Friday (March 26) and we beat ourselves. We should’ve won that game but we made mistakes and we beat ourselves.

“In that first inning, we were beating ourselves but I’m proud of the way we came back. We didn’t fold and that would be an easy thing to do when you’re beating yourselves.”

But the Hawks (9-2) responded with three runs in the bottom of the inaugural frame.

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CAK 5-0 in DeMarini Classic

KNOXVILLE — Providing the eventual game-winning home run early, then closing the game as Christian Academy of Knoxville’s top reliever — not to mention his workout as Warriors catcher for six innings — senior Andrew Kribbs was quite a busy man Friday afternoon at CAK during the eight-team DeMarini Classic.

“Coming into pitch I’m already loose and warm (due to catching). I have that mentality to get ahead (in the count) early,” said Kribbs, closing things in the top of the seventh inning against Science Hill, allowing no hits and one walk with one strikeout, as CAK edged the Hilltoppers 2-1 April 2. The visitors’ record dropped to 8-4.

The Warriors (13-4) finished a perfect 5-0 during the Classic, which began Thursday, April 1, and ended Saturday, April 3.

Christian Academy also beat Rossford, Ohio 10-4; Hamilton Heights, Indiana 6-4; Upperman 3-0 — combined one-hitter with 14 strikeout from senior starter Tanner Loyd, 4.2 innings, and senior reliever Tyler Wood, 2.1 innings — and Mt Juliet 12-0 to enter the week 13-4.

After the Science Hill win, head coach Tommy Pharr said, “We’ve not swung it very well, but we’re pitched really well and played pretty good defense.”

Winning pitcher Elijah Dew went five innings, as the senior allowed an unearned run and five hits with seven strikeouts.

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FHS tennis dominates

Coming off a pair of dominant District 4-AAA efforts against rival Bearden last week, as the Farragut boys and girls tennis teams combined to lose only one match in 9-0 (boys) and 8-1 (girls) victories, the pattern continued Monday, April 5.

Improving their records to 5-0 on the season, both FHS teams swept past Morristown West 9-0 in a non-district match-up.