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Veteran bats, young arm lead Bearden past KD-B

Led by the big bat of senior first baseman Kendal Wells and the young arm of freshman Garrett Copeland, the Bearden Bulldogs closed out the 2006 Sportsbelle Tournament with a 10-4 win over Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett Saturday, April 1, at Bearden’s Phil Garner Field.

Following up on a 9-5 victory against arch-rival Farragut (see story, page 1B), the Bulldogs, 12-2 overall and 1-1 District 4-AAA entering the week, got things started early in the game.

William Alexander led off the bottom of the first with a single to right field. Justin Miller followed with a double off the right field wall to put runners on second and third with no outs.

A pass ball allowed Alexander to score and a sacrifice fly by Wayne Miller sent Justin Miller home to give Bearden a 2-0 lead in the first.

Bearden got on the scoreboard again in the third after the Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs.

Kendale Roach hit a sacrifice fly to center allowing one run to cross and Wells followed him up with a three-run homerun to increase the advantage 6-0.

“He’s locked in right now, he’s hard to handle,” Buckner said about Wells, who was 3 of 3 at the plate with five RBIs. “He gets in grooves pretty good, and right now he is seeing it.

“He’s a good hitter, he has been a good hitter since he’s been here.”

The Bulldogs got three more runs the following inning on a RBI-double by Wayne Miller and a two-run homerun by Wells.

Bearden’s final run came in the fifth when Wayne Miller grounded into a double play, allowing the runner to score from third.

Dobyns-Bennett first got on the scoreboard in the fourth when C.J. Stabler led off the inning with a solo homer, marking one of Copeland’s few mistakes in five innings of work.

“Garrett was pretty good, he pitched hard,” Buckner said. “For a freshman he is pretty dang good, they didn’t get a lot of good swings on him.”

Copeland’s performance also garnered a lot of respect from Bearden’s veteran players.

“He threw good, he’s just a youngster and he is only going to get better,” Wells said. “We are just trying to back-up our young pitching staff and try to get behind them because most of us have been playing since [our] sophomore year so we are pretty experienced and we are just trying to help them through.”

KD-B got its final runs of the game on a three-run homer by Wesley Lane in the sixth off of Taylor Gouffon.


Even with senior pitching ace Chris Goetz making his first start of the year after recovering from arm injuries, the Bulldogs were unable to slow down an offensive outburst by Webb Saturday, April 1, at Phil Garner Field in the early game.

“It was Goetz’s first start back after the injury and the promising thing is that he threw without pain,” Buckner said. “We still have ways to go to get him polished back up but it’s a plus sign for our team to have him back out there, he’s the most experienced pitcher on our staff. But even though he didn’t pitch all that well its really O-K.”


The Bulldogs opened up the Sportsbelle Tournament with an easy win over Seymour at UT’s Lindsey Nelson Stadium Thursday, March 30. Reynolds homered for the Bulldogs.


Bearden opened up district play with a loss to South Doyle Monday, March 27, at BHS.

The Bulldogs got a homerun from Alexander.


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