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Tate’s JV Dawgs rule Knox area yet again

With a final 36-3 mark, the 2009 Bearden Junior Varsity Baseball team continued the program’s recent years Knox-area domination with a JV record for wins.

Bearden's three-year record is 96-14 — concluding all three by winning the Oak Ridge Invitational Junior Varsity Tournament, this season among a 14-team field.

Moreover, Bearden has defeated Farragut in the title game all three seasons. This year, the Bulldogs won 5-3, while also beating Alcoa 15-3, Hardin Valley Academy 13-1, Catholic 2-0 and, in the semifinals, host Oak Ridge 10-4. “This may be the best team we’ve ever had,” BHS JV head coach Jack Tate said. “Our team’s E-R-A was 1.81; we had 12 pitchers win at least one game. It was a really deep pitching staff.”

Individually among pitchers, sophomore Dean Cates led with a 6-0 record (1.45 ERA). Rob Thress 4-0, 1.57, and Marshall Wilkins, 4-0, 1.91, also excelled.

Offensively, Tate said, “We had four or five guys hit over .500. Sophomore Chris Hamilton, left fielder/third baseman, was top hitter in average at .453.

Freshmen Trey York and Alex Helton, nephew of former Tennessee Vols and Colorado Rockies Major League standout Todd Helton, each hit .421.

Others with 50 or more at-bats hitting above .500 included Thress at .413.

“Zach Sale was probably one of our best players as well,” Tate added about the freshman who hit .400 and led the team in RBIs and was 5-0 in pitching (1.07 ERA). “And he played great in the outfield.”

Coaches Mitch Carter and Steve Jones assist Tate.


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