Science Hill’s infielders made the robust performs look routine Monday within the winners’ bracket last of the District 1-AAA baseball event.
The mix of second baseman A.J. Motte, shortstop Jack Torbett and third baseman Jaxon Diamond got here by means of with a number of defensive highlights in a 7-1 victory over Tennessee Excessive at TVA Credit score Union Ballpark. With the victory, the Hilltoppers superior to Wednesday’s championship sport and earned a berth in subsequent week’s Area 1-AAA playoffs.
Whereas the Hilltoppers (26-9) had their share of offense with 11 hits, stellar protection and aggressive pitching restricted the Vikings (22-10) to only 4 hits.
Motte starred on the plate, going 2-for-3 with three runs scored. But it surely was within the subject the place his highlight-reel diving catch ended any hope of a Tennessee Excessive rally within the last inning. He talked in regards to the mindset of the protection charging after the ball.
“I feel it began after they moved Diamond to 3rd. He’s robust over there and doesn’t make any errors,” Motte mentioned. “Jack and I made a few diving performs right this moment. Coach talked to our pitchers to throw strikes and assault the zone. Everyone is on their toes. Everyone needs the ball and we’re going to get the ball.”
After hitting a walk-off double to win Saturday’s sport towards Daniel Boone, Conner Hyatt adopted it up by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Jack Torbett was additionally 2-for-4 on the plate, nevertheless it was his stellar play at brief that helped maintain the Vikings in examine.
“We’re telling our pitchers to only throw it down the center, allow them to hit it and belief your protection,” Torbett mentioned. “Coach says he believes we’ve got the perfect protection within the state proper now. Then the bats get going and we’ve got loads of backup.”
Science Hill opened up with three runs within the backside of the primary highlighted by Hyatt’s RBI double.
Tennessee Excessive struck again with a house run by Gregory Harris to begin the third inning. Nonetheless, the Hilltoppers answered within the backside body with a RBI single by Nate Conner to attain Motte.
Gavin Briggs hit a two-run single up the center within the sixth and Jack Torbett had a RBI double to finish the scoring. After beginning 0-for-2 with a few pop-ups, Torbett made the adjustment to sit down again and be extra affected person, which led to the large hits.
On the mound, Science Hill starter Evan King went 42/3 innings, permitting one run and 4 hits earlier than giving solution to Dustin Eatmon, who retired the following 4 batters. Caleb McBride closed it out within the seventh.
“Our youngsters are enjoying excellent protection and our pitchers are trusting them, letting them make performs,” Science Hill coach Ryan Edwards mentioned. “I used to be actually pleased with King. He had a few shaky reduction outings the place his arm wasn’t feeling good. We rested him 10 days and I assumed he had his finest stuff since early within the season. After all, Dustin and Caleb slammed the door to get these final seven outs.”
After giving up the three runs within the first, Tennessee Excessive’s Braden Wilhoit settled in and made it to the fifth inning earlier than reliever Payne Ladd gave up three hits over the 2 innings. C.J. Henley went 2-for-2, together with a double, to guide the Vikings offensively.
“Each groups hit the ball arduous. They discovered holes and we hit it proper at them,” Tennessee Excessive coach Preston Roberts mentioned. “We get 4 hits. If the ball goes three toes to the left or three toes to the precise, we might have had 10 or 11 hits. Credit score them, they made the performs defensively. That’s the factor about baseball. Fortunately, it wasn’t an elimination sport.”
The Vikings will play in an elimination sport Tuesday within the losers’ bracket last after they host Daniel Boone, a 4-3 winner over Dobyns-Bennett. Science Hill will await the winner of that contest in Wednesday’s championship sport with a Thursday sport scheduled if essential.