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Diamond Ads claim Orlando title, then master West 12-2

Don’t feel too bad for Nick Williams just because the Farragut standout senior didn’t join the Admirals’ extensive hit parade at West Monday evening, April 5.

Williams, a Tennessee Vols signee and FHS’s No. 2 starting pitcher, struck out nine of the first 11 Rebels batters en route to a two-hit, 11-strikeout victory while allowing just one earned run.

Supported by an eight-run Farragut second inning, highlighted by David Allen’s three-run homer, the nation top-ranked Ads (Baseball American poll/17-2, 4-1) whipped West 12-2 in five innings.

“I was locating every pitch really well, I was getting ahead with my fastball, then sometimes throw my curveball for the strike ’em out pitch,” Williams said.

The win extended the Ads’ recent run of success during the Hall of Fame National Classic in Orlando, Fla. March 29-April 1, scoring 43 runs in its first four wins before a 2-0 victory versus Flanagan High, Pembroke Pines, Fla., in the title game Thursday, April 1.

“I think we had pretty good momentum coming from the Florida tournament,” said Ethan Bennett, senior catcher and UT signee who hit three home runs in Florida and had two hits worth two RBI at West.

Title game winning pitcher Philip Pfeifer, tournament Cy Young Award honoree, struck out 16. “That’s the best he’s pitched this year, rather dominant,” FHS head coach Matt Buckner said. “Flanagan was a strong team, with four or five [Division] One players.”

Nicky Delmonico, tournament MVP and recent University of Georgia commitment, drove in the title game’s only runs with a two-RBI double.

Buckner praised Delmonico, standout junior shortstop, and Bennett, along with David Allen and A.J. Simcox for “swinging it well all week.” Simcox connected for a grand slam in Orlando, while Bennett went yard three times Allen had a three-run homer.

Senior left fielder Ryan Montalbano “has done a good job,” Buckner said, while senior second baseman Stewart Martens “has done a good job getting on base. And Cameron Strickland has played well at times.”

Against West, Allen also singled, while Montalbano, Tyler Noland, Delmonico, Simcox, Martens and Strickland (RBI double) had one hit each.

Led by Delmonico’s three hits and two each from Simcox, Allen and Roland, FHS beat South Miami, Fla. 10-1.

Xander Taylor, six innings, and reliever Logan Hess’ one inning of relief, combined to shut down Pinecrest, Fla. 11-0.


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