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Diamond Dawgs finally win ‘Throwback,’ 4-AAA champ Ads roll
Depth tested for Farragut in wins versus ORHS, Maryville, Science Hill

Some unsung heroes were illuminated in the nighttime lights of Farragut’s John Heatherly Field Friday, April 24.

A relatively inexperienced pitcher came up big in long relief, caught by a back-up catcher winning rave reviews from the skipper. And within the bottom third of the line-up was found a two home run game.

These contributions, and Nicky Delmonico’s walk-off grand slam to extreme deep right field, helped Farragut dump perennial power Johnson City Science Hill 14-4 in five innings. Mac Thoreson’s first-inning grand slam gave FHS a 4-3 lead it never relinquished.

The week also produced a 2-0 win against Oak Ridge during the annual Throwback Night game Thursday, April 23 — early 20th century uniforms and using wooden bats. Also falling against the Ads was Maryville in a 10-2 whipping at MHS Friday afternoon that allowed Farragut to win the District 4-AAA regular season title at 12-1 entering the week. (More details on this game later in this story) The Ads entered the week 28-5 overall. SHHS fell to 19-11.

Against Science Hill, winning pitcher Logan Hess, a junior, relieved in the first inning after three runs and no outs were recorded. Hess went the full five, allowing one run, five hits and no walks. He also retired the final eight batters he faced.

“He was probably going to pitch tonight, but I wasn’t planning on bringing him in in the first inning,” FHS head coach Tommy Pharr said. “But he did a good job, he held his ground there.

“And we played O-K behind him, swung it obviously well enough and they made a few errors and helped us,” Pharr added.

Senior outfielder Blake Hayes smacked two home runs. “I saw a fastball twice. I’m starting to feel better at the plate,” he said.

Pharr said back-up catcher Chris Griffin, a junior, “has done a great job” replacing junior starter Ethan Bennett, out with a wrist injury. Griffin singled against the Hilltoppers.

Hess said he wasn’t expecting to pitch. “That really doesn’t bother me,” he said. The junior performed well despite giving up a solo home run and consecutive singles in the fourth inning.

“You’ve just got to flush it and go on, and that’s what I did,” Hess said. “You’ve just got to get it out of your system and know that you’ve got a great defense behind you.”

Delmonico and Curt Powell also doubled and Thoreson also singled for the Admirals.

Pharr said Bennett will have his cast taken off late this week, “and then we’ll see if he can play.”

Nick Williams, junior first baseman/pitcher, suffered an injury in the Throwback game to “a tendon in his rotator cuff on his left arm. They’re not sure how bad it is. … He’ll be back, hopefully, by district [tournament, next week],” Pharr said. “I’m hoping he’ll be able to pitch if nothing else.”

While Pharr said he’s confident both should be back at some point in post-season play, he added, “it’s not a hundred percent.”

Against Oak Ridge, FHS winning pitcher Thoreson went the district while allowing just three hits with the shutout.

In beating Maryville, Grant Tabor and Cade Stallings each homered, while Ellison Fitchpatrick doubled. Winning pitcher Philip Pfeifer allowed eight hits while going the distance.


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