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Pitching in a big rivalry game can be a lot to put on a freshman, but for Farragut southpaw Philip Pfeifer it was just another day at the ballpark. The freshman struck out 12 as the Admirals beat the Bearden Bulldogs 10-4, Monday, April 21, at Farragut’s John Heatherly Field.

Pfeifer scattered seven hits over six innings of work before being relieved by senior Chris Hatfield, who got two strikeouts and a groundout to end the game.

“[Pfeifer] threw well,” Farragut head coach Tommy Pharr said. “They hit a couple balls on him, but all-in-all he threw well.”

The freshman’s repertoire includes a fastball, curveball and change-up, but composure might be his greatest asset.

“He is a pretty composed kid,” Pharr said. “I’m sure he was nervous because it was a big game, but he is a pretty good competitor and he throws it well.”

Pfeifer admits he was nervous entering the game, but once it got underway it was easy to settle down.

“I was really nervous coming out there and I got behind a lot early in the count,” Pfeifer said. “After that first inning I felt pretty comfortable out there on the field and my team was playing well behind me.”

With the pitching in check, the Admirals took care of business at the plate by smashing 14 hits including four long balls.

Farragut (27-0, 11-0 in District 4-AAA as of April 22) got going early as Michael Williams hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Bearden starter Andy Fennell.

Curt Powell hit a solo home run in the second to give the Admirals a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the third, Joey Delmonico blasted a two-run homer to put the Admirals up 5-0.

“We hit the ball real well,” Powell said. “We are playing well as a team and we have good team chemistry.”

Freshman Nicky Delmonico led off the fourth inning with a home run to dead center to give Farragut a 6-0 lead. Matt Ramsey had an RBI-single and Ryan Burnett hit a grounder to third that was thrown away to allow the eighth run to score. Two batters later, Powell blasted a two-run double to increase the lead 10-0.

“We are all seeing the ball pretty well,” Powell said. “The extra cuts in the cages are helping us out.”

Fennell pitched three-plus innings before Josh Hullett came on in relief in the fourth inning with bases loaded.

Bearden (27-2, 9-2) made its move in the top of the fifth with a solo home run from Dylan Highsmith and a two-run home run by Dawson Halliday to make it 10-3. Jonathan Byrd added a solo home run the following inning, but the Bulldogs couldn’t make up the deficit.

“We didn’t pitch well and we didn’t play well,” BHS head coach Matt Buckner said. “We did a good job hanging in there and not folding at the end, but they outplayed us in every aspect of the game.”

The Bearden batters combined for a total of 14 strikeouts on the night.

“[Pfeifer] is tough and he is good,” Buckner said. “He throws three pitches for strikes. We have got to do a better job of putting the ball in play.”


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