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Ads earn sixth straight state tourneybehind Catapano in 3-2 win at KD-B

KINGSPORT — It’s been a special season for the Farragut Admirals baseball team. This was supposed to be the season that Farragut’s run of five consecutive state Class AAA tournament births came to an end.

After skeptics didn’t give this year’s team a chance, it only added fuel to the fire and ignited a refuse to lose mentality that has this year’s Farragut team heading to its sixth straight state tournament after a 3-2 victory at Dobyns-Bennett Friday, May 19.

“Obviously we like to make it our goal every year to make it to the state tournament, and this year probably a lot of people didn’t think we had a chance,” Farragut head coach Tommy Pharr said. “We finished fourth in the regular season district and runner up in the region and had to go up to Dobyns-Bennett, but our guys hung in there.”

Behind another strong outing from left-handed ace, Rob Catapano, the Admirals (26-15-1 overall record entering the week) proved they are a team deserving of a state tournament birth.

The senior struck out eight batters and improved his personal post-season record to 4-0 with a 0.90 earned run average in 30 innings of work.

“Rob pitched well and gave us a chance to go on,” Pharr said. “He probably wasn’t as sharp as he would like to have been against Dobyns-Bennett, but he was sharp enough to get the win.”

Catapano’s win also marked the third time this postseason that he has been the starter in an elimination game.

“Rob has been good in crunch time and he has pitched a lot of big games since he has been in high school, so he knows what that’s about,” Pharr said. “I just think experience with him helps and he is just a very competitive kid.”

With Catapano on top of his game, the Farragut offense did just enough to come away with the win.

Barton Ivy scored the Admirals’ first run in the first inning after doubling and tied the game 2-2 after hitting an RBI single with his second plate appearance in the third inning.

The hit that broke the tie came from the bat of freshman Joey Delmonico, whose fourth inning RBI single up the middle brought across courtesy runner Steven Guerrette for what proved to be the game winning run.

“Our guys keep battling,” Pharr said of his team’s determination. “It’s an easy time of the year to fold it up, and there have been some times when we didn’t play well. But they worked at getting better every day and hung in there very well.”

The Admirals played Ravenwood (27-11 record) Tuesday, May 23, in the opening round of the Class AAA State Tournament in Murfreesboro (after press deadline).

The winner played the Ooltewah versus Collierville winner Wednesday afternoon May 24 in second-round action (after press deadline). The two first-round loser’s played in an elimination game Tuesday night.

All FHS games prior to the state championship game will be played at Oakland High School.

Should the Admirals remain alive as one of the top two teams in its four-team bracket, they will play at 4 p.m. CDT today [Thursday, May 25].

The championship game begins at 7 p.m., Friday, May 26, at MTSU’s Reese Field. The other bracket features Riverdale (35-7), Bartlett (30-11), Science Hill (29-10) and Franklin.


Farragut lost to Karns 3-2 in the Region 2-AAA championship Wednesday, May 17, at Farragut’s John Heatherly Field.

Karns pitcher Lee Henry limited the Farragut batters to four hits while striking out six in his five innings of work. “It was a tough game, their pitcher just stuffed us,” Pharr said. “The Henry kid threw well and we couldn’t hit him.”

The Admirals took the early 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by Cade Stallings.

Karns evened the score the following inning on a groundout by Keith Ferguson.

After retiring the first two batters in the fourth inning, two consecutive errors spelled disaster for Farragut.

Heath Cheverton reached base on an error, stole second and went to third on another Farragut error. Logan Hammontree then drilled an RBI triple to center field and scored on a wild pitch to make the score 3-1.

“We kicked the ball around a little bit and gave them an opportunity,” Admiral senior Chip Eskew said. “They are a good team and you can’t give a good team more than three outs in an inning or they will end up beating you.”

Eskew’s one out RBI triple the following inning brought the Admirals to within one, but he stayed stranded on third after two hard hit balls were caught by Cheverton at short.

“We hit some balls hard with runners in scoring position but they didn’t find holes,” Eskew said. “The balls didn’t really fall our way.” Farragut stranded 11 base runners in the game.


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