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Two convincing 4-AAA tourney wins, revenge, for Bulldogs


After losing both regular season games to William Blount, the Bearden Bulldogs knew it was time for a change.

A little focus and defense led the way as the No. 3 seed Bulldogs downed No. 2 seed William Blount 10-2 Saturday, May 6, in the District 4-AAA Tournament at WB’s Governor Stadium.

Despite William Alexander’s leadoff double on the first pitch of the game, Bearden didn’t get on the board until the third inning when Alexander returned for his second at-bat.

The senior centerfielder hit a deep fly ball to right that caught the wind and sailed over the wall for a two-run homer to give Bearden the early lead.

“I just thought it was a fly ball and I was trying to get a double out of it and it went over the fence,” Alexander said. “This year they beat us twice so it was good to finally get them back.”

An inning later freshman Garrett Copeland hit a two-run homer of his own to right. “William getting us on the board was huge and Garrett’s homerun was a freshman stepping up pretty big,” BHS head coach Matt Buckner said.

The Bulldogs scored two more runs in the fifth on an RBI double from Wayne Miller and an RBI infield single from Kendale Roach for a 6-2 lead.

Bearden’s final four runs came in the seventh when Roach connected for a three-run homer and Matt Scruggs had an RBI infield single.

Despite the offensive support, the biggest difference in this game may have been the defense. Bearden shortstop Justin Miller made two run-saving diving stops that ended the fifth and the sixth innings. “The big thing today is we played great defense,” Buckner said. “Justin Miller played phenomenal, he made two plays that nobody else could make, he’s a real good athlete.”

Bearden’s Andy Fennell kept William Blount guessing all game long with a complete game victory on the mound. The win came against Mark McGill, who was making his third start against the Bulldogs this season.

After winning the first two times, the Bearden hitters had his number this time.

“McGill is a good pitcher and that was the third time he has pitched against us and we have good hitters,” Buckner said. “The third time I thought we would hit him and we did so, that was the difference.

“We saw him for the third time this year and our guys were focused.”

The win improved Bearden’s overall record to 27-10, 13-3 in all district games heading into its Tuesday game versus archrival Farragut, a 121-1 winner versus South-Doyle in second-round action Monday at SDHS.

The winner advanced to today’s (Thursday’s) championship round at 4 p.m. versus a loser’s bracket survivor, with a second-game if necessary.

With nine wins in their last 12 games, the Bulldogs seem to be peaking at the right time. “Coach always said that [the season] was a marathon and to peak at the end of the season,” Alexander said. “I think that’s what we are doing.”

BHS 10 HERITAGE 0

The Bulldogs defeated Heritage 10-0 Friday, May 5 at WB in the opening round of the District 4-AAA tournament. Copeland pitched a one-hitter while Justin Miller hit a three-run homer and Wayne Miller hit a solo homer.

BHS 15 LENOIR CITY 0

Bearden finished its regular season with a 15-0 win over Lenoir City Monday, May 1 at LCHS. Copeland got the win on the mound. Justin Miller and Roach doubled while Kendal Wells and Drake Little hit homers.

 

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