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Stallings’ grand-slam, other Farragut bats, Ramsey’s pitching turn back ’Dawgs 12-2

For Farragut High School’s Matt Ramsey, it’s all about competing.

After giving up two hits, two runs and walking two while balking in a run in the first inning against Bearden April 4, things weren’t looking good for the junior right-hander.

But the adversity didn’t faze Ramsey as he went on to throw a five-inning three-hitter in a 12-2 win against the Bulldogs at FHS’s John Heatherly Field.

“The first inning I came out and struggled a little bit with a balk and everything,” Ramsey said. “I just told myself to calm down, compete and get after it.”

With a curveball that wasn’t effective the junior elected to use his fastball more frequently and it paid off, striking out nine Bearden batters.“My fastball felt great and my curveball wasn’t really working like I wanted it to so I just stuck with the fastball,” Ramsey said. “We had a lot of adversity and we came together as a team and hit the ball real well.”

Bearden starter Drake Little took a 2-0 lead into the third, but RBI singles from Curt Powell and Michael Williams and a grand-slam from Cade Stallings opened the doors for Farragut and gave Ramsey all the run support he needed.

“It was shaky but we did a good job,” Farragut head coach Tommy Pharr said. “[Matt Ramsey] got stronger and handled the adversity pretty well and hung in there. They helped us a ton. They walked a lot of guys and they weren’t happy with all that but Cade got a big hit and it took a little pressure off us.”

Stallings took a fastball up in the zone over the center field wall.

“I was feeling great at the plate,” Stallings said. “I have been seeing the ball really good lately. The ball is so big and when they give me a fastball I am taking advantage and hitting it hard.”

Little gave up a bases loaded walk to Williams the following inning and was relieved by Hunter Daniel. Stallings greeted Daniel with a two-run double to increase the lead, 9-2.

“He is swinging it good right now,” Pharr said. “He swung it good in Murfreesboro [last week] and he is one of our best hitters and that is what he has to do.”

After walking in two more runs, Cooper hit an RBI single to make it 12-2.

Bearden head coach Matt Bucker was ejected during Cooper’s at-bat after a disagreement about the ball-strike count.

“We just got outplayed,” Buckner said. “Drake didn’t have his best stuff and they exploited him. We gave them too many opportunities and they are playing well right now.”

Farragut broke a five-game losing steak to Bearden dating back to last season. Bearden beat the Admirals all four times last year, and on opening day this season the Bulldogs won 3-2 in nine innings.

“This is my first year beating Bearden and it’s nice to do it at home,” Stallings said. “I think the team is starting to come together and if we keep hitting the ball we are going to be hard to beat.”

Pharr downplayed the Bearden-Farragut rivalry and said that he treats every district game the same way.

“It’s big from a district standpoint, and as far as staying in the run for a district championship it is a big win for us,” the coach said.


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