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Three wins for ’Dawgs despite ‘Turn Back Clock’ loss

The Bearden Bulldogs couldn’t prevent the big inning.

In the third annual Turn Back the Clock Night at Farragut High School’s John Heatherly Field, the Karns Beavers got the best of Bearden and came out with an 11-8 win in eight innings Thursday, April 26.

“We did a good job coming back but the big inning is haunting us,” BHS head coach Matt Buckner said. “We didn’t make very many plays, and if we made some we might have won.”

Karns got on the board first but Bearden (22-12 overall record entering the week) answered back and took a 3-1 lead after one with a sacrifice fly from Jonathan Byrd and RBI-singles from Matthew Scruggs and Kamryn Roach.

Karns got three runs in the third and one in the fourth to go up 7-3. Dawson Halliday and Garrett Copeland each drove in runs with sacrifice grounders to bring Bearden closer. Karns added another run in the top of the fifth after a successful squeeze play, making it 8-5.

“I wouldn’t say the pitching was very stellar on either side,” Buckner said. “They did a good job and we didn’t control them on the bases very well.”

A Copeland RBI-double tightened the deficit, 8-6, after six. The Bulldogs tied the game 8-8 in the bottom of the seventh after a sacrifice fly from Craig Jenkins and an RBI single from Ryan Ford.

Karns shortstop Coty Pate broke the tie in the top of the eight with a two-run home run down the right-field line. The Beavers added another run in the inning on a Robbie Martin RBI-double.

The game featured 29 base hits between the teams, a lot more than might have been anticipated.

“The wooden bat changes it a little bit, and I wouldn’t have guessed that,” Buckner said. “We hit the ball well enough to win.”

Bearden was playing without senior shortstop Justin Miller, whose nose was broken in two places after being hit with a baseball against Sevier County the day prior.

“Not having Justin Miller out there is huge,” Buckner said. “He has been a big part of our program for a long time and it kind of throws our infield out of whack a little.”

Surgery is scheduled for Friday, May 4, but Miller isn’t expected to miss any other games besides the opening game of the district tournament against Maryville that day. That’s good because he won’t miss extended time, but bad because he is going to miss another game.

“He is a good player and he is a fun kid to watch,” Buckner said. “He is one of the more talented players to come through Bearden in a long time.”

Bearden got Miller back the next night when BHS traveled to Heritage for a district contest, beating the Mountaineers 6-2 Friday, April 27.

Miller returned as an outfielder and singled. Halliday hit a home run and Garrett Copeland doubled. Josh Hullet got the win on the mound.

Bearden defeated West 8-4 Saturday, April 28, at WHS. Hunter Daniel started on the mound for the first time in nearly two weeks because of an elbow injury. The junior southpaw threw two innings, and despite coming out of the game trailing 4-1, Buckner said he pitched well.

“It was good to have him back on the mound,” the coach said. “We had him on a forty-five-pitch count. We are really fortunate to have him back.”

The Bulldogs trailed 4-3 entering the seventh inning, then Miller hit a three-run home run to give Bearden the lead. Bryant Walker and Byrd followed with home runs making it back-to-back-to-back long balls. Winning pitcher Zac Fine fired five scoreless innings.


The Bulldogs fell short in a 5-4 loss at Sevier County Wednesday, April 25. Pitcher Bryant Walker received the loss for Bearden. Miller doubled before leaving the game with a broken nose.


Bearden opened the week with a 12-8 win at William Blount April 23. Hullet relieved in the fifth and earned the win. Home runs came from Ryan Ford, Byrd, Halliday and Walker.


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