7th-inning sizzle lifts Ads to 4-AAA title

Farragut's Dylan Pacifico, 6, out-races Bearden's Brandon Trammel, 25, to first base after Trammel hit a ground ball to first during play Saturday, April 18, in Phil Garner Ballpark at BHS. A little rain couldn’t spoil a small celebration for the Farragut High School baseball team Saturday night. The Admirals ended a long day of baseball by defeating rival Bearden 7-3 at BHS’s Phil Garner Ballpark April 18.

The Ads, who outlasted Seymour 9-6 at home earlier in the day after losing to Knox Catholic 3-0 Friday, then notched a comeback win over the Bulldogs. The victory netted Farragut the District 4-AAA regular-season championship.

And the Admirals will enjoy home field advantage in the upcoming district tournament.

“It’s been a long month and this bunch of guys has wrapped up the district championship,” Farragut head coach Matt Buckner said. “These guys are just overcoming stuff and we’ve been in some tight ballgames.

“We’ll play the district tournament at home because we’re the No. 1 seed.”
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Farragut softball responds late vs. Lady Hawks, 4-2

Leslie Beecham, HVA shortstop, tags out Farragut baserunner Niki Slone attempting to steal in the third inning. The Lady Admirals won 4-2. Keeping alive its chances of finishing second in District 4-AAA regular season softball standings, Farragut rallied past Hardin Valley Academy by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Singles by FHS juniors Hannah Stephenson and Mary Claire Coyne went along with two costly infield errors and two walks to turn a 2-1 Lady Hawks lead into an eventual 4-2 Lady Admirals win at FHS’s Bellamy Field Friday evening, April 17.

“Hardin Valley’s a much improved team, Whitney [Hickam-Cruze, HVA head coach] has done a great job with them. It’s definitely a battle, but we found a way to win,” said FHS head coach David Moore, whose team improved to 13-9-1, 7-4 in district after this win. The Lady Hawks fell to 18-10, 7-5.
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No. 1 HVA trips BHS

Hardin Valley Academy sent a loud and clear message about its No. 1 Class AAA boys soccer state ranking late last week, as No. 6 rival Bearden received that message with unpleasant results.

Jumping ahead 3-0 before taking a commanding 4-1 lead into halftime, the undefeated Hawks (10-0-0) won 4-2 Friday evening, April 17, at HVA. Bearden fell to 11-2-1 overall, 2-2-1 in District 4-AAA.

HVA head coach Mike McLean said “the first half was good,” adding it “probably was” his team’s best half of soccer all season.

Thomas Sissom, sophomore midfielder, led Hardin Valley with two goals.

Logan Kington, Hawks senior defender, “was just phenomenal tonight,” McLean said. “Everything that went into the air he’s winning. I mean everything, whether he’s chasing it down in traffic or heading it out.

“The combination tonight of two of our key players, Shawn Foster and Cameron Schneider, was better than it’s been in the past,” McLean added about his senior midfielder and senior forward, respectively.

Schneider and Sheroze Akhter, junior forward, each scored one goal.

Kington said his Hawks “got our possessions going early. ... It helped that we came out fast and strong and finished our opportunities early in the game.”
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HVA pitching depth use ends with ‘slam,’ Ads 12-0 win

While FHS baserunner Carmelo Venero slides in safely at third base, Hawks third baseman Ian Pung tries to grab this throw in the first inning. The ball got past Pung and Venero scored. Pitching depth has been a Farragut baseball staple in 2015, which is hardly surprising.

Highlighted by junior Thomas Keyes’ no-hitter versus Noblesville, Ind. April 2 (five strikeouts, one walk), Admirals pitchers also stellar during Second Annual Scott Dean Memorial Classic earlier this month included Peter Pratti, Dylan Pacifico and Jacob Parham.

Hardin Valley Academy used its pitching depth all in one game, trotting out nine arms against the defending Class AAA state champs at FHS’s John Heather-ly Field Wednesday evening, April 15.

The plan didn’t work, as Nico Mascia’s walk-off grand slam capped an eight-run bottom of the sixth inning for a 12-0 Admirals win. “It was a low fastball,” Mascia, a senior catcher, said about his big blow.

“I love Nico, man; honestly I’m telling you he’s one of my favorite players I’ve ever coached,” FHS head coach Matt Buckner said. “He’s a winner in every way.”
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Bearden Rugby closes regular season strong vs. FHS

Bearden's Blake Johnson is tackled by a Farragut player during play Friday, April 17. Bearden High School’s rugby club closed out the regular season with a 56-5 victory over rival Farragut Friday night, April 17, at Tennessee Rugby Park.

After getting off to a slow start, the Bulldogs (4-1 in Smoky Mountain Athletic Conference play) dominated the Admirals, who played the entire match two men down due to lack of players.

“Their biggest problem is lack of numbers,” Bearden coach Marty Bradley said. “We have some guys who play at the all-star level, so our guys know a lot of their guys.

“We started a little slow but we were eventually able to get some tries.”

Bearden did endure a sluggish start but the when the Bulldogs finally scored, they racked up points in bunches against the undermanned Admirals, who finished the league campaign with an 0-5 record.
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