Young Admirals’ gutsy comeback falls just short

Farragut's Chase Chambers connects on a pitch for a ground ball base hit against Dyer County Choctaws Saturday, April 12, at John Heatherly Field. Farragut’s young baseball players are maturing, as evidenced by a gutsy comeback against a team considered one of Tennessee’s best in Class AAA.

That was a point made by FHS head coach Matt Buckner and two of his top performers Saturday afternoon, April 12, though a late comeback during 2014 Demarini/Diamond Academy Classic fell a couple of runs short at FHS’s John Heatherly Field.

A 9-7 loss to No. 3-ranked Dyer County — a team the Admirals eliminated in the 2013 TSSAA state tournament — was Farragut’s first Classic loss in four games to that point (16-10 overall through Monday, April 14). The senior-laden Choctaws improved to 19-4 a day after beating Bearden at BHS 7-1.

Three errors in the third inning helped Dyer score three runs to go ahead 3-0. “We made too many mistakes early in the game,” Buckner said. “… Good teams like them, if you make mistakes they will beat you. Last three games we hadn’t made a single error. We’re progressing in that area. We had a little setback today.”
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Lady Admirals rally

Miller’s strong performance secures 3-2 win over Bearden putting Farragut atop District 4-AAA

Lady Ads catcher Hannah Stephenson blocks home plate awaiting a throw to put out Bearden's Haley Mullins from scoring during district play Monday, April 14, at Farragut. Shelby Miller’s arm and bat helped Farragut avenge an earlier loss to Bearden.

Such effort thrust Miller’s Lady Admirals into the top spot in District 4-AAA.

Miller, a junior left-fielder whose strong throw home after a fly-ball out — and nice short-hop scoop by FHS catcher Hannah Stephenson — nailed Lady Bulldogs runner Haley Mullins at the plate in the third inning, came up big again.

With Farragut down 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Mary Claire Coyne began a rally with a single to left.

Miller’s long drive deep to right field turned into an RBI triple.

The junior would score on a two-out wild pitch as the Lady Admirals held on to win 3-2 Monday evening, April 14, at FHS’s Bellamy Field.

“It was an outside pitch, middle outside,” Miller said about her triple after helping Farragut improve to 18-7 overall and a district-leading 9-2 mark. Bearden fell to 14-6, 7-3.
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Farragut’s lack of depth Brentwood’s gain

Bradley Balltrip, Farragut sophomore attackman (white jersey), gets his shot blocked by a host of Brentwood defenders Sunday, April 13, at Mayor Bob Leonard Park. Never underestimate the value of depth in high school lacrosse.

According to Bob Beekman, Farragut High School head coach, a lack of depth Sunday was extremely costly.

Brentwood came from metro Nashville to the Knox County area and, licking it wounds from an 8-6 loss at Webb School of Knoxville the day before, took out its frustrations on the Admirals.

The result was a 15-4 Bruins victory Sunday afternoon, April 13, at Mayor Bob Leonard Park’s artificial turf field.

“Our attrition really hurt us in the second half,” Beekman said about Farragut’s inability to close a 7-2 halftime deficit (2-1 Brentwood after one period). “We didn’t have any depth. … This should have been a closer game, maybe two or three goals either way. This was a beatable team with our full compliment of players, no doubt.”

While the Admirals fell to 4-6 overall, the Bruins improved to 9-5.

With a handful of those injured players expected back for the Admirals’ game at Webb Wednesday, April 16, “We’ll be good for the rest of the year,” Beekman added.
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Good swings not enough for Bearden victory

Bearden's Peyton Marshall attempts to throw out a Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett runner during play at Phil Garner Ballpark Friday, April 11. Pleasing head coach John Rice with bat-on-ball veracity against one of the top-ranked Class AAA teams in Tennessee, Bearden’s offense still fell on hard times during 2014 Demarini/Diamond Academy Classic.

“We hit the ball all over the park and the ball didn’t fall, but that’s just part of the game,” Rice said after a 10-5 loss to the Indians Friday evening, April 11, at BHS’s Phil Garner Ballpark”… We hit the ball hard. We had a lot of good swings today. I’m really happy with our guys at the plate.

“We didn’t pitch great. And we didn’t play perfect defense. We gave them a couple of runs,” Rice added about KDB’s five-run third inning featuring five hits and two costly Bulldog errors.

Bearden stood at 15-7 overall after a loss to Dyer County, 7-1, Friday night before bouncing back to beat East Hamilton 8-5 Saturday morning. The Bulldogs remained among the leaders in District 4-AAA starting the week (7-1).

Dobyns-Bennett improved to 16-1-1 after Friday’s win.

Leading off with an infield hit in the second inning, Brock Vaughn scored on Brady Duncan’s infield hit, tying the game 1-1.
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Spirited game ends with walk-off Hawks victory after Powell rallies

Hawks shortstop Seth Hunt fields a ground ball as a Powell runner advances to third during play Saturday, April 12, at Hardin Valley Academy. Hardin Valley Academy hosting Powell was much more than a lazy, sunny Saturday afternoon game where both teams couldn’t wait for a long week of Dem-arini/Diamond Academy Classic baseball to end.

So spirited was HVA’s 7-6 walk-off home win against the Panthers April 12 — both teams rallying from deficits in the final two innings — the post-game handshake had to be aborted when a couple of players almost came to blows. Cooler heads prevailed before any blows were struck.

Furthermore, game hero Vinny Gambuzza, whose four-hit day was capped with a two-out, game-winning single to left field scoring Tyler Thompson in the bottom of the seventh, said he was motivated by Powell chatter.

“Those guys fire me up, yelling and all that,” Gambuzza, who also pitched three innings of middle relief, said. “It even makes me want to pitch even better whenever they’re yelling all their stuff.”
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