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Vikings score early and often to bounce Tribe from 1-AAA tourney

Jeff Birchfield • May 9, 2018 at 1:08 AM

KINGSPORT — The combination of Tennessee High’s offensive firepower and fatigue setting in from the night before proved to be too much for the Dobyns-Bennett baseball team Tuesday night at J. Fred Johnson Stadium.

The Indians fell behind by 10 runs in the first three innings and suffered a season-ending 15-5 loss to the Vikings in the District 1-AAA losers’ bracket final. It came less than 24 hours after D-B had gone 10 innings to defeat Daniel Boone in the previous round.

“They fought and battled, but we just didn’t have it in us tonight,” Indians coach Ryan Wagner said. “We struggled on the mound and you can’t do that against a good team. We had guys on short rest like they hadn’t done all year and it was kind of hard to get our energy back after being out here to about 11 o’clock last night. No excuses, it’s just tough.”

Dobyns-Bennett (23-14) saw its season end despite a three-run home from Isaac Whitehead in the fourth inning and a two-run single from Cade Maupin in the fifth.

Tennessee High (29-9) faces Science Hill in tonight’s championship round after reaching the district final for a second straight year. The Vikings earned a berth into the Region 1-AAA tournament following a 26-year drought prior to last season.

The Vikings scored one run in the first inning but did much of their damage with a six-run second, which included a two-run double by Nick Dobbins and a two-run home run by Banks Presson. They closed out the win with a four-run sixth.

“Cold water never felt so good,” Tennessee High coach Preston Roberts said after his victorious team dumped a cooler full of ice water on him. “I have ice chips in my back pocket, but it’s neat to earn back-to-back trips to the regional tournament. I’m so proud of these guys. It’s a total team effort and I’m just fortunate to be driving the ship. It starts with the players and our assistant coaches do a fantastic job. I’m just proud of the whole program and proud for Tennessee High.”

He was certainly proud of the effort of Davis Hall, who went five innings to earn the win. Bodhi Baker pitched the final inning for the Vikings.

Presson was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and four runs scored from the leadoff spot. CJ Hess was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, and Dobbins was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Jason Vanhoy was 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Tanner Booker also had two hits and Gavin Cross scored three runs.

Brogan Beckner suffered the loss, although D-B went deep in its bullpen with Jackson McDavid, Blake Cleven, Max Everett, Aiden Scanlan and Cannon Ferrell all seeing time on the mound.

Aaron Farley scored two runs for D-B.

Wagner’s senior class — catcher Will Gladson, second baseman John Deason as well as Ferrell, Everett, Whitehead and pitchers Tanner Doran, Jeremiah Ball and Scanlan — won 84 games over the past three seasons.

“Our seniors had a real good tournament and came through for us,” Wagner said. “They could have folded, but they didn’t. They’re smart kids who are going to be successful in life. Losing 10 seniors off the team that finished third in the state last year and to come back and get 23 wins and have a chance to go to the region, I’m proud of them and it’s an honor to coach them.”

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