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Bennett state-record blast saves FHS
Pfeifer 2-hitter stops Powell after junior lefty limits Dawgs to capture 4-AAA tourney title


What a way to set a state record.

Farragut catcher Ethan Bennett finally solved the mystery that had been Powell starting pitcher Drake Owenby, taking a 3-ball, 1-strike fastball over Kingston Pike for a game-winning home run in a do-or-die Region 2-AAA semifinal Monday, May 17.

His walk-off two-run blast deep to left field at FHS's John Heatherly Field broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the eighth-inning, while giving this UT signee the state record for single-season home runs with 25.

“It feels great ... it's a big relief. But thank God for every second of it, just giving us the ability to play baseball every day,” said Bennett, District 4-AAA Most Valuable Player.


To top it off, there was somber motivation to honor the wishes of a good friend from Bearden: senior first baseman Chase Keen's father died suddenly earlier this week.

“He told me on Saturday night, ‘I want you to break the record against Powell.’ He went to Powell,” Bennett said. “It's that much more special to me. He's my friend. ... I'm glad to do that for him.”

Matt Buckner, FHS head coach, labeled Bennett “an amazing kid, that's all there is to it. ... To be able to do that in that situation.”

The win allowed Farragut (36-5) to reach Wednesday's Region 2-AAA title game against either Bearden or Halls (played at Halls Tuesday) and insured FHS would reach sub-state play Friday.

The Admirals won District 4-AAA with an 11-1 drubbing of tourney runner-up Bearden at FHS Wednesday, May 12. (More on that game later in this story)

Against Powell (23-14), winning pitcher Philip Pfeifer threw well in excess of 100 pitches in eight innings, allowing just four baserunners — two hits — with 13 strikeouts. Now perfect in 2010 at 13-0, and improving to 38-3 in his three-year career, Pfeifer moves to within four of the state record for career wins.

“Pfeifer was freaking Pfeifer,” Buckner said about the junior staff ace and 4-AAA Pitcher of the Year living up to his gold-medal-winning and two-time All-state reputation. “That Cat was absolutely dominant. ... They squared one ball up all day.”

Bennett also helped out Pfeifer by picking off a PHS runner at first base with none out in the fifth inning.

Bennett had half of Farragut's four hits off Owenby, also adding a single, while A.J. Simcox, All-District sophomore third baseman, singled in the second-inning. David Allen, All-District senior centerfielder, doubled in the fifth.

Owenby struck out seven, walked three and hit Nicky Delmonico to begin the eighth. “He's one of the best pitchers we've seen all year,” Bennett said.

FHS 11 BEARDEN 1

Pfeifer, working on only three days rest, fired a complete game five hitter, with five strikeouts, in the Ads' 11-1 win May 12 to capture the 4-AAA tourney title.

Delmonico, 4-AAA co-Offensive Player of the Year, blasted a three-run homer to highlight the Ads' seven-run second inning - greatly aided by three Bearden defensive blunders. Allen added a two-RBI single in the second, while

Tyler Noland, senior right fielder and All-District honoree, added a bloop double. Allen and Stewart Martens, senior All-District second baseman, ended with two hits apiece. Cameron Strickland also singled.

The other All-District Ad is senior outfielder Ryan Montalbano.

Derek Lance, sophomore All-District 4-AAA outfielder, led district runner-up Bearden (19-22), with two hits, while All-District junior outfielder Ty Greene added an RBI single in the fifth.

Other BHS hits came from Trey York and Dakota Stallings.

Bulldogs also earning All-District honors were Garrett Sale, senior second baseman; Cory Phillips, senior pitcher, and Travis Scates, senior DH/catcher.

 

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