CHURCH HILL — The winners bracket matchups Saturday in the District 1-AAA baseball tournament at Volunteer couldn’t have been more different.
Dobyns-Bennett’s battle with Daniel Boone was give and pull for seven innings before the Indians scrapped out a 4-2 win. Science Hill’s victory was over early after the Hilltoppers erupted for 10 first-inning runs on their way to a mercy rule-shortened 15-1 decision against Tennessee High.
D-B starting pitcher Kyle Reeves struggled early and Daniel Boone took advantage of his mistakes. Zach Peters smacked a solo home run in the first inning and Trey Combest had an RBI double in the second inning for a 2-0 lead.
Those were the only two hits allowed by Reeves.
He found his rhythm and went on to strike out five of the next eight batters before being relieved in the fifth inning with a 3-2 lead.
Austin Dayton’s sacrifice fly accounted for one Indians run and Logan Gentry launched a two-run homer to give D-B the lead in the fourth.
Dayton added a solo shot in the fifth for the final score.
The Tribe’s Chris Cook, who relieved Reeves, kept up the momentum. After walking his first two batters, he retired the next eight for the save.
“We didn’t play our best today, but Kyle battled against a great hitting team. And what can you say about Cook? He decided today that he was going to pitch and did a great job,” said D-B coach Ryan Wagner.
Boone made things interesting in the fifth inning when it put its first two batters on. The Trailblazers’ comeback attempt came to naught after an inning-ending double play.
“We had opportunities, runners in scoring position, and that’s all you can ask for,” said Boone coach Rob Hoover. “I thought we played with a lot of energy and confidence, but sometimes you get beat.”
The Science Hill players made sure they got to the prom on time by storming out to a 10-0 lead in the first.
Kyle Wilson led off the game with a solo home run and 13 batters later the game was more than decided.
Hilltoppers pitcher Reed Hayes cruised through four innings, allowing only four hits and striking out five. He helped himself at the plate by recording four RBIs, including a bases-clearing double in the first.
“I told Reed I thought he set the tone, striking out the first three batters, as well as Kyle doing what he did early with the home run,” said Science Hill coach Ryan Edwards.
D-B (28-4) and Science Hill (27-6) advanced to a showdown on Tuesday night at 7:30 at Volunteer.