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Bearden unbeaten in Sportsbelle before ‘wash-out’

The Bearden Bulldogs kept its winning streak alive by winning all three of its games in the rain-shortened Sportsbelle Classic.

The Bulldogs won its eighth straight game as it improved its overall record to 11-1 entering the week, 3-1 in District 4-AAA.

Bearden closed out pool play in the tournament with a 9-3 win versus Science Hill, Saturday, March 29, at BHS’s Garner Field.

Taylor Gouffon picked up his second win of the week on the mound as the senior pitched a complete game.

“Taylor really pitched an exceptional ballgame,” Bearden head coach Matt Buckner said. “He was really strong. He has pitched well for us all year.”

Bearden took advantage of a five-run third inning to take and keep the lead. Matt Scruggs hit a two-run home run and Dawson Halliday hit his second home run of the game in the same inning.

Jonathan Byrd drove in the fourth run with a double and Hunter Daniel capped the inning with an RBI single.

After Halliday’s first home run tied the game 1-1 in the opening inning, Bearden again rallied to tie it 2-2 in the second with a Daniel double. Garrett Copeland, who doubled, scored the tying run.

“I feel like we are getting better offensively,” Buckner said. “We are making some progress and our team has a lot of confidence right now.”

The Bulldogs won their second game of the tournament, 9-3 against Gibbs, Friday, March 28, at BHS.

Daniel got the win on the mound. The senior struck out 10 batters while scattering four hits over seven innings of work.

“Hunter gave up two runs, but they really didn’t hit him at all,” Buckner said. “His first two outings he hadn’t really pitched all that well. He struggled with his command and had some mechanical issues going on, but Friday he was really on his game.”

Scruggs homered and doubled for Bearden while Jacob Edwards had two doubles and four RBIs.

“Jacob Edwards was big in that game,” Buckner said.

The Bulldogs opened the tournament with a 7-3 win against Gallatin, Thursday, March 27, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium at The University of Tennessee.

Andy Fennell, considered the team’s staff ace, got the win in five innings of work. Garrett Copeland pitched the final two innings.

“[Fennell] pitched well,” Buckner said about the senior. “I wouldn’t say he had his best stuff but he was pretty good.”

Scruggs doubled and tripled to lead a Bearden offense that had seven hits on the night.

“We didn’t play extraordinary,” Buckner said. “We played real average. We made a couple miscues that kept them in the ballgame and we never put them away.”

Bearden reached the Sportsbelle semifinals Saturday evening before rain cancelled the remaining tourney games.


The Bulldogs opened the week with a 12-2 District 4-AAA victory against William Blount, Monday, March 24, at Garner Field.

Gouffon got the win on the mound in a five-inning complete game effort.

Halliday and Byrd hit homers to lead the offense.

“Taylor Gouffon pitched pretty well,” Buckner said. “We played pretty well. It was one of our better games this year.”


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