Wilson Central, Watertown take district titles

May 8—SMYRNA — The only thing more pesky than the insects flying around Stewarts Creek's baseball field was Wilson Central as the Wildcats whipped the host Red Hawks 13-0 late Monday night for the District 7-4A championship.

Stewarts Creek had just beaten Cookeville in the loser's bracket final in a game which started a couple of hours late due to weather. As a result, the championship round didn't begin until after 8 and end until just after 10 despite the 10-run rule ending the contest in the fifth inning.

Central took a 2-0 lead in the first inning with Caden Webber and Luke Kinzer driving in the runs on singles.

Stewarts Creek was held to two hits and the Red Hawks never threatened to score except for the first inning when J.D. Speakman was cut down trying to steal home to end the inning.

"That was a little surprising," Ford said of the attempt to steal home. "I think he probably did that on his own. I don't know if that was called.

"It got us out of an inning. It's a little momentum, holding them to zero after we scored two."

Luke Shaughnessy drove in five runs on two doubles, including a three-run shot to left field in Central's five-run third inning. The Wildcats poured six more across in the fourth as they finished with 11 hits. Webber finished with three hits and Brayden Wadsworth two.

This is Central's offense in a nutshell when it's working. The Wildcats have hit four home runs all season.

"We've got good pitching all year and defense's been okay," Ford said.

Carson Reed held Stewarts Creek to two hits and no walks in four innings before Ryan Judd fanned a pair of Red Hawks in the fifth to seal Central's first district championship since 2017."(Reed) has just battled for us all year," Ford said. "Don't throw hard but he throws strikes. He gets after people and throws breaking pitches when he wants to."

The Wildcats will carry a 23-10 record to Murfreesboro on Friday to take on Siegel in the Region 4-4A tournament. Host Riverdale and Stewarts Creek will follow. The winners will play for the championship Saturday, followed by the losers. The loser's bracket final will determine second place to wrap up the day.

The '17 team included Ford and assistants Brian Howard, Andy Schmeltzer and Matthew Burke. Howard is now the head coach at Stewarts Creek, taking over for former Lebanon coach Mike Bartlett when he retired (and is now coaching at Providence Christian) and the other two his assistants along with Lebanon-graduate Ben Bowers.

"Don't take nothing away from Stewarts Creek," Ford said. "They are a very good team. That score is not indicative of how good they are. When you walk in here and look on their dugout, they've had a lot of success in a short period of time.

"I think the world of those coaches. They were with me for a very long time. I really respect that group over there."

Tigers take 4th straight crownWATERTOWN — Watertown baseball is like the postal service — rain doesn't stop it. The Purple Tigers just moved the delivery date up a day.

Playing a day earlier than originally planned because of an iffy weather forecast, Watertown took advantage of Smith County errors in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday to walk off with the District 5-2A championship via a 6-5 win.

The Owls had a 5-3 lead but Watertown had the bases loaded in the seventh. Cyrus Bennett reached on an error as one run scored. C.J. Potter reached on another miscue as the tying and winning runs scampered across the plate, lifting the Purple Tigers to a 26-5 record and their fourth straight district championship.

Watertown will face Westmoreland at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Smith County will take on host White House Heritage at 7 in the Region 3-2A tournament. The winners will meet for the championship at noon Saturday, followed by the losers at 3 p.m. and then the loser's final for second place at 6.

The Owls scored all five of their runs in the top of the third inning to wipe out an early 1-0 Watertown lead as Purple Tiger starter Noah Murphy was chased in favor of Potter, who restored order with 1 2/3 innings of one-hit relief. Zeb Major worked the final 2 2/3 frames for his second win of the tournament, striking out five.

Watertown had just five hits. Bennett and Potter were credited with two RBIs apiece.

The Tigers reached the championship game by completing a two-game sweep of their bracket series with York Institute, outscoring the host Dragons 8-6 Friday in Jamestown.

York scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning to go up 4-2. But the Purple Tigers, like the night before at WHS, kept pecking away with runs in six of their seven at-bats.

Potter drove in three runs while Bennett doubled. Major and Bret Price each produced a pair of singles as Watertown outhit York 11-5.

Watertown didn't take the lead until the Tigers scored twice in the sixth to break a 5-5 tie, giving the win to Bennett, who pitched the final three frames in relief. Starter Zack Self fired the first four frames.

Green Hill dominated in 12-4A finalMT. JULIET — After waiting out weather delays, Beech thundered to an 11-0 win over host Green Hill for the District 12-4A championship Monday night on the Hill.

The Buccaneers scored two runs in the first inning against Liam Bowles, who surrendered five scores (one earned) in two innings-plus. Matthew Swallows followed for the final 3 2/3 frames as Beech needed just five hits to run-rule the Hawks, who committed four errors.

Dom Waller's single was Green Hill's only hit against Cooper Johnson, who walked three, struck out four and hit one in a game which didn't end until around 11:30 p.m.

Beech's win give the Bucs home field advantage for the Region 6-4A tournament Friday and Saturday. Green Hill will take on District 11 champion Hillsboro and will also play Saturday.

Wilson Central arrives at district final, regionalSMYRNA — Like at most other places, rain played havoc with the District 7-4A tournament at Stewarts Creek over the weekend.

But despite playing a day late, Wilson Central's 7-4 win over the host Red Hawks had them right on schedule going into Monday night for the championship round. The Wildcats faced Stewarts Creek needing just one win for the title. A Red Hawk win would force an "if necessary" game last night.

The Wildcats built a 6-0 lead midway through the third inning before Stewarts Creek chased starter Luke Kinzer with four runs in the bottom half. But Colton Vivrette restored order with 4 1/3 innings of relief, allowing a run on three hits while striking out seven.

Wilson Central outhit Stewarts Creek 8-6. Caden Webber doubled as he and Brayden Wadsworth each had two hits.

Regardless of the outcome in the championship round. Central and Stewarts Creek will advance to the Region 4-4A tournament later this week.

Green Hill reaches 12-4A final, regionalMT. JULIET — Two days of rain forced the District 12-4A tournament to play Sunday at Green Hill, where the Hawks survived the first day of the week with a 3-0 shutout of Hendersonville to reach the district final.

But the Hawks have a loss courtesy of a 3-2 setback to Beech earlier Sunday, forcing Green Hill to beat the Buccaneers on Monday and Tuesday to take the title. But regardless, the Hawks and Bucs will represent the league in the Region 6-4A tournament later this week.

In the loser's bracket final, Green Hill jumped to a 2-0 lead over Hendersonville in the bottom of the first inning and added an insurance score in the fourth.

Micah Summar pitched five innings of one-hit shutout ball with four walks and nine strikeouts. Joey Greenstreet gave up two hits over the final two frames for the save.

Greenstreet and Nick Owens Jr., doubled for the Hawks, who had seven hits.

In the earlier winner's bracket final, Beech broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the fifth against Corbin Craver, who gave up six hits in six innings before Greenstreet worked the seventh.

Beech took a 2-0 l3ad in the top of the second inning Green Hill matched it in the fourth on RBIs by Griggs Chandler and Brayden Barton.

The Bucs outhit the Hawks 7-6. Owens had two hits as he, Grayson Beasley and Dom Waller doubled for Green Hill.

Friendship reaches Middle Region bracket final, State XII

Friendship Christian won twice over the weekend at John McNeal Stadium to reach the State XII for the first time in five years.

The Commanders had a virtual complete-game relief outing from Bradyn Stringer and scored five runs late to overtake Goodpasture 6-4 Saturday after breaking a tie the night before to put away Franklin Grace Christian 6-1 in the Middle Region tournament.

Goodpasture edged Grace 3-2 in a weather-plagued game Monday at Friendship with the winner catching the 27-11-1 Commanders in the lower-bracket final (a game moved to Tuesday after weather delays hampered the elimination game) needing two wins to reach the championship game. The bracket runner-up will play for third place but the top four teams will advance to Division II's version of the sectional. With Columbia Academy forcing the if-necessary game with Clarksville Academy, the bracket calls for the championship and third-place games to be played Thursday at the higher seed. With District 3 champion Providence Christian having been eliminated, the Commanders are the lone remaining No. 1 seed, meaning any region tournament games involving them would be played at McNeal Stadium.

The Cougars jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on two walks and a hit batter against starter Ayden Moore, who failed to retire a batter. Stringer surrendered a run in the third, four hits and two walks while striking out five to bring his record to 3-1 for the season with a 1.37 earned-run average.

Friendship scored a run in the bottom of the first and pulled into a 4-4 tie on Quin Long's three-run homer, his eighth blast of the season, in the fifth and went in front for the first time on Luke Sellars' two-run single in the sixth.

Each team finished with four hits. One of Friendship's was Elijah Stockton's double.

Against Grace, each team scored in the fourth inning before Friendship broke the tie with five in the sixth on a bases-loaded triple by Sellars and a two-run single by Adam Gordon.

Long pitched six inning of two-hit ball with two walks and five strikeouts for the win. Grace's run was unearned. Stockton struck out two retiring the side in order in the seventh.

Friendship finished with seven hits, including a double by Gordon.

Lebanon rallies to win suspended game, shut out by Cookeville to end seasonSMYRNA — Lebanon survived a suspended game Friday to complete a 7-3 win over LaVergne the following day before being ousted from the District 7-4A tournament Sunday via a 3-0 loss to Cookeville at Stewarts Creek.

Cookeville took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on an error to pin the loss on Elijah Shreeve. Case Collins took over and was charged with the Cavaliers' final two scores.

Evan Driver had both Lebanon hits as the Blue Devils ended a 19-18 season.

LaVergne took a 2-0 lead in the second inning and the Wolverines were ahead 2-1 when rain halted the proceedings in the fourth.

When the teams returned the following day, it was like a new game for the Blue Devils, who scored six times in the bottom of the fifth on four hits. The big blow was Brice Njezic's two-run double.

Will Wright also drove in two runs from the No. 8 hole for the Blue Devils while Tol Siwndell led Lebanon with two hits.

Njezic, Shreeve, Driver and Collins were named to the all-district team.