CHURCH HILL — Sullivan South’s baseball team missed plenty of opportunities against Tennessee High in the first round of the District 1-AAA tournament on Friday.
But on Saturday, with their postseason lives on the line, the Rebels didn’t leave anything to chance.
South plated 19 runs on 16 hits to overcome an early three-run deficit and beat Sullivan Central 19-3 in five innings. The Rebels will face Daniel Boone in another elimination contest Sunday at 5 p.m.
David Crockett and Tennessee High will open play in the losers bracket Sunday at 2:30. Crockett stayed alive by beating Volunteer 11-5 on Saturday.
The Rebels found themselves staring at a 3-0 deficit after the top of the first, but wasted little time mounting a comeback. South put up five runs in the bottom of the inning and never looked back.
South starter Tyler Troutman settled in after a rough first inning and blanked Central for the next two frames before giving way to Parker Zollman. By then, Troutman had a comfortable 18-3 lead.
“We had some adversity at the beginning of the game, but Tyler bounced back and we got some runs behind him and came out with the W,” said South center fielder Charlie Moore, who went 3-for-3 with a triple and four RBIs.
South followed the five-run outburst in the first with four more runs in the second. Jamin McCann’s three-run homer was the centerpiece of South’s offensive effort in the second inning.
A nine-run third removed most of the mystery surrounding the outcome of the contest. McCann finished with five RBIs.
“I wasn’t sure how we were going to respond, but we responded well,” South coach Anthony Richardson said. “We live to see another day and we’ll see what happens from here.
“Jamin, that was big for him. He’s starting to swing the bat. We’re going to need him down the stretch and Charlie, too. If we play like we’re capable of playing, we can beat anybody.”
Earlier in the day, a pair of big innings cost Volunteer against Crockett.
The Pioneers scored six runs in the second and four more in the fifth to keep their season alive. John Long launched a solo homer for Crockett while Heath Ricker added a two-run double and finished with three RBIs.
Heath also picked up the win on the mound for the Pioneers.
Logan Price went 2-for-3 for the Falcons and Tyler Carter hit a double.