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Pfeifer matches state pitching wins record as Ads blank MHS, win tourney

Philip Pfeifer made a little history with his latest victory.

Pfeifer, Farragut High School’s three-time All-state left-handed pitcher, surrendered just two hits and a walk in the Admirals’ 4-0 District 4-AAA victory over Maryville, Wednesday, March 17, at FHS’s John Heatherly Field.

The win was the 42nd in Pfeifer’s illustrious career, which ties the state record for career victories.

“It’s a total honor,” said Pfeifer, who struck out 11 in six innings. “I’ve been able to pitch in some big games.”

Pfeifer was happy with the personal milestone but said the Admirals have bigger plans for the season.

“Maryville is a good team. They play up to us,” he said. “They’re a tough team and they’re well coached.

“This game was important but what’s really important is what happens in May.”

Farragut’s bats woke up during the annual Scenic City Classic in Chattanooga, winning three of four games to capture the tourney, played Thursday-Saturday, March 18-20, at McCallie School.

“We really took a lot of steps forward … we played a lot better Saturday, had a lot better approach offensively,” said FHS head coach Matt Buckner, whose team clobbered Independence 14-2 in the championship game Saturday.

The Admirals entered the week 5-1 overall, 2-0 in district (more on this tourney later in story).

Pfeifer was dominant against the Rebels. He retired the first 11 batters he faced before Jordan Rang’s double spoiled the no-hit bid with two outs in the fourth.

Offensively, the Admirals also struggled after the first inning. But Farragut gave Pfeifer a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

Nicky Delmonico led off the frame with a single and advanced to third on a double by Cameron Strickland.

A.J. Simcox’s groundout plated Delmonico with the game’s first run. Strickland later scored when Xander Taylor grounded to short.

From there, scoring opportunities were at a premium as Pfeifer and Rebels’ ace Tommy Wilkinson dueled through four-and-a-half scoreless innings.

The Admirals added two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Scott Miller had an RBI single and Chandler Vannoy added a scoring double. Taylor then relieved Pfeifer in the seventh and retired the Rebels in order.

In Chattanooga, the Admirals opened with a 1-0 shutout of host McCallie Thursday, as sophomore pitcher Eric Freeman went the distance scattering five hits.

“Eric Freeman threw an excellent game, did an unbelievable job,” Buckner said.

Farragut lost to Sparkman (Ala.) 6-3 Friday despite a two-run homer from Delmonico.

A pair of three-run homers in the third inning accounted for all Sparkman runs. “We didn’t play well, we didn’t execute offensively very well,” Buckner said. “Xander Taylor pitched really well besides that one inning.”

Despite the loss, Farragut won its pool and ripped Science Hill 18-7 in a six-inning semifinal game Saturday.

Thirteen FHS hits included home runs by Delmonico and Miller. “Really had a better day offensively,” Buckner said.

Winning pitcher Derek Chandler went five innings and gave up just four earned runs. Reliever Jordan Newby pitched a scoreless sixth inning.

Ten runs in its first two innings propelled the Admirals against Independence, led in part by sophomore second baseman Nick Senzel’s three-run homer.

“A.J. had like seven hits on the day,” Buckner said about his junior shortstop’s hitting the final two games.

Cameron Strickland and Vannoy each doubled twice.

Stepping up off the bench, “Braden Urevick [junior designated hitter] and Anthony El Chibani [sophomore right fielder] both had two or three hits combined in both games,” Buckner added.

Winning pitcher Chase Chambers, a freshman, went the distance (five innings) versus Independence, allowing no earned runs and four hits while picking up his first career high school victory. “Pitched real well, did a good job,” Buckner said.


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