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One step from state
Ads whip PHS in push for state crown

Philip Pfeifer, just a freshman, could have been unnerved by the biggest athletic challenge of his life. His Farragut baseball team could have been unnerved by a freaky double play that almost took them out of a great first-inning scoring opportunity.

But Pfeifer pitched with the poise of a senior and the Ads still scored four runs in the first inning en route to a 9-5 victory against Powell in the Region 2-AAA semifinals Monday, May 12, at FHS’s John Heatherly Field.

The win assures the Ads (36-3 record after the win) yet another 1-AAA Sectional appearance, putting them one win away from their eighth Class AAA state tourney in 10 years.

“I threw O-K today, I didn’t throw anything special,” said Pfeifer, who allowed just two hits in five innings while striking out two with one walk. “I had some jitters, but I felt pretty confident in our team. It’s pretty easy to be calm with the team we have behind me, makes it a lot easier to pitch.”

Farragut head coach Tommy Pharr said, “Pfeif’s good, no matter if he’s a freshman or what. He’s a pretty tough kid, pretty competitive kid. Gave us five good innings. He wasn’t as sharp as I’ve seen him but was good enough.”

Offensively, three Admiral blows set the stage in the first two innings: Matt Ramsey’s two-out, two RBI double deep to center field in the first followed by a Mac Thoreson two-run homer.

That overcome a double play with the bases loaded and none out where the Admiral runner at third base was ruled to have left third early attempting to tag-up on a short fly ball to center field.

Cade Stallings’ home run to center field in the second also scored Nicky Delmonico, who laced a double down the right field line.

The Admiral managed just one hit the next three innings, a Blake Hayes infield hit.

Jordan Cooper, FHS junior reliever-starter who shined in two district tourney appearances, struggled a bit in sixth inning relief.

After consecutive strikeouts following a lead-off bloop single, Cooper was no mystery to the next three Panther sticks.

Two sharply strokes RBI singles plus an infield hit and throwing error brought home three runs and made it a game. But after a walk that brought the tying run to the place, Cooper induced a groundout to first to end the PHS threat.

Farragut hosted Halls in the Region 2-AAA title game Wednesday, May 14 (after press deadline).

The Red Devils beat Bearden 7-5 Monday in the other region semi (see story beginning on page 1).

The Admirals cashed in a one-out threat in the sixth. Blake Hayes walked and Nicky Delmonico was beaned before Stallings’ RBI single made it 7-3.

Michael Williams doubled off the right-center field wall, scoring Delmonico despite pinch runner Zach Allen being thrown out at home. Ramsey’s single to right scored pinch-runner Eric Bigeral, putting FHS up 9-3.

“That was huge, coming back after they scored three; we scored three,” Pharr said.

Ramsey came in to close the PHS seventh, but allowed a walk and home run before retiring the Panthers.

“We’re exactly where we need to be right now,” FHS junior shortstop Curt Powell said. “We’re not going to think about Friday until it gets here.”

Powell, District 3-AA Tournament runner-up, ends its season 19-13.


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