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Quick start for baseball Admirals

Matt Ramsey was an important name in Farragut's first two baseball victories of 2006. After a clutch two-out RBI single in the eighth-inning to break a 3-3 tie at William Blount for an eventual 8-3 win Monday, March 13, Ramsey pitched four innings of shutout baseball in a 16-0 rout of Lenoir City at LCHS Wednesday, March 15.

But no FHS player's performance is beyond the sometimes skeptical glare of Admiral skipper Tommy Pharr.

After Ramsey walked two and hit a batter in the LCHS third-inning, Pharr walked to the mound and had some strong words for his sophomore standout. Ramsey responded by inducing a fly-out to end the threat.

“You lose your focus a little bit, but Matt's a good one,” Pharr said after the LCHS game. “A good player, good pitcher and good outfielder for us.”

With four strikeouts while allowing just three hits in four innings, Ramsey explained his brief third inning struggle as “getting my body ahead of my arm and not letting my arm follow through. Overall, I think was a good first outing of the season, I felt good about it.”

Meanwhile, against the Panthers, Chip Eskew's grand slam highlighted a seven-run second inning for the Admirals. Eskew, a senior, finished with three hits and five RBIs two days after a pair of clutch hits against William Blount.

Ty Nelson's solo homer started things off, and singles by David Reynolds, Zach Allen and Curt Powell contributed, as did RBI groundouts from Ramsey and Hebbeler. Barton Ivy walked.

Allen added a two-RBI single in the third inning, then followed up with a two-RBI double in the fourth. Ramsey added a single after Ryan Bentley reached base when being hit by a pitch.

Cade Stallings' first hit of his high school career was memorable, as the FHS sophomore blasted a three-run homer to left centerfield in the fifth inning.

"I didn't know it was a home run, I was running to first [base] and they all said, 'good job, way to hit it,'" Stallings said, adding that the pitch he hit "was a fastball right down the middle."

After Michael Williams walked to begin the inning, Tyler Duke added a single before Stallings cleared the bases.

Reliever Duke allowed a walk and a single but got out of trouble thanks to a double play and fly-out to end the game.


Starter Lawson Cheek allowed just three runs in seven innings of work, but a Governor home run in the bottom of the seventh tied the game 3-3.

Eskew again came through with two big hits. After an Ivy walk in the FHS second-inning, Eskew's home run made it 2-0 Ads. Eskew's RBI single in the fifth plated the third FHS run.

Joseph came in to relieve Cheek and kept WBHS off the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth.


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