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Catapano pitches Diamond Ads into state title game
Sophomore's 4-hitter downs Munford; Knox foe Halls awaits in Satuday's AAA showdown

MEMPHIS - A simple ground ball in the first inning may have been the biggest factor in Farragut's 3-1 victory against Munford (26-7 record) Friday that lifted the nation's No.4-ranked Admirals into the Class AAA state title game Saturday night.

The bracket final victory sends the defending Class AAA champs (45-2 record) against a fimiliar foe. The Halls Red Devils from District 3-AAA - the same team the Admirals beat 15-0 in the Region 2-AAA final May 19 - are Farragut's opponent in the state title game Saturday. First pitch at AutoZone field is set for 8 p.m. (central daylight time).


Young FHS sophomore lefty Rob Catapano admitted to being "pretty nervous" as he started Friday's bracket finals game. Following a one-out walk in the top of the first inning, Catapano fielded a grounder and turned a huge double play. "After the first inning when I got that ground ball and turned that double play is when I started to settle down," Catapano said.

Catapano, the team's No. 2 pitcher, fired a complete game four-hitter with eight strikeouts. After the double play, the young lefty did not give up another walk.

A Philip Sherrard double and Riley Jennings sacrifice-fly RBI pushed FHS ahead 1-0 in the second inning. Kyle Waldrop's double and Scott Dean's sacrifice fly made it 2-0 in the third.

Admiral centerfielder Harrison Eldridge led off the fourth with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a fly-out and scored on a wild pitch.

Although that was all Catapano needed, "I had a little more pressure than I usuallly have 'cause I'm usually pitching with a big lead," he said. "I felt pretty good about it. My curve ball is probably the one that helped me out the most and then getting ahead with the fast ball."

Catapano's lone run given up was a fourth-inning home run by Cody Overbeck.

"He did great, that was my fault, the run," FHS head coach Tommy Pharr said. "That was a bad pitch call. Rob, he's tough, he doesn't let a whole lot bother him. He gets after it, he's not too scared of anything ... he's just tough mentally, to a lot of kids that would be a pressure situation. He gave up a home run but bounced right back. Threw his breaking ball extremely well."

Waldrop and Drew Reagan led the Admirals with two hits each Friday.


FHS staff ace Waldrop and his unbeaten pitching record and ERA under 0.10 will start Saturday's state title game. But he'll work on only two days rest.

As for whether or not Waldrop can pitch on only two days rest, "I don't know if it's a problem or not, but we're going to go with him and see," Pharr said, adding that if Waldrop runs out of gas, "probably Tony (Delmonico) or Philip (Sherrard) or Drew (Reagan). We've got several guys that could throw, so we'll see how it goes."


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