KINGSPORT — Bearden’s baseball team conjured up some two-out magic to score four runs against Dobyns-Bennett on Friday at J. Fred Johnson Stadium.
But on an evening when the Tribe made clutch hitting seem commonplace, it wasn’t nearly enough to give the Bulldogs a victory.
D-B plated nine of its 10 runs on two-out hits and Chris Cook overcame a shaky first inning on the mound to send the Indians cruising to a 10-4 win over one of the top teams in the Knoxville area.
“It’s a big win for us against a good quality team,” D-B coach Ryan Wagner said. “They’re going to be the two seed out of the Knoxville region, so it’s really a quality win for us.
“It should give us a boost of confidence.”
Cook struggled with his control in the first inning and the Bulldogs (19-9) made him pay by scoring three runs on a pair of two-out hits. But the Indians (24-4) answered immediately with four runs of their own in the bottom of the first.
Logan Gentry got D-B going with a two-out double off the wall that missed being a home run by a couple of feet. Payton Marshall and Ben Jack followed with run-scoring hits to send Cook back to the hill with a lead.
“We stroked the ball,” Wagner said of his team, which ended up with 15 hits. “We got down 3-0 early, but that’s what good teams do — come back and respond.
“That was big for our kids to respond.”
Jack was in the lineup because Caleb Cook was out with an illness. Jack made the most of the opportunity, finishing with three hits — two of them doubles — and two RBIs.
Chris Cook (4-1) gave up another run on a two-out hit in the second, but settled in to throw four consecutive shutout innings before handing over the ball to Austin Dayton in the seventh. Dayton threw a perfect inning to close out the game.
While Cook was able to right the ship, Bearden starter Tavis Shuler wasn’t so fortunate. Shuler was chased after allowing five runs on eight hits in 1 2-3 innings of work.
For the full story, pick up a copy of the April 27 edition of the Times-News.