MURFREESBORO — Riverdale relief pitcher David Farmer struck out Dobyns-Bennett’s Caleb Cook looking with the bases loaded in the seventh inning to preserve a 2-1 victory for the Warriors in an elimination game at the TSSAA Class AAA state baseball tournament Wednesday at Siegel High School.
“That was a clutch pitch in a tough situation,” D-B coach Ryan Wagner said. “He threw a breaking ball with a full count. You’ve got to give it to him.”
The Indians (32-8) left 12 runners on base, getting only two hits with runners in scoring position.
It was a continuation of a trend that haunted D-B in the tournament. The Tribe stranded 11 runners in their 6-1 loss to Brentwood on Monday night.
It was the fourth straight 2-1 postseason victory for the Warriors.
Riverdale (28-12) advanced to another elimination game Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the loser of the contest between Collierville and Brentwood.
D-B outhit the Warriors 10-4 in the game, but could not come up with enough timely hits.
“We struggled both games to come up with hits at the right time,” Wagner added. “Sometimes good pitching will take care of good hitting.”
The Warriors struck first when Brad Woodson led off the third inning with a double. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan McNeil.
A ball hit back to Indians pitcher Logan Gentry appeared to be an easy third out, but Gentry dropped the ball while attempting his throw. The runner was safe at first and Woodson crossed the plate to put Riverdale on top 1-0.
Gentry opened the sixth inning with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Payton Marshall and scored on an RBI single by Caleb Cook to tie the score.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Warriors’ D.J. Watkins struck out but reached first on a wild pitch. He stole second and scored what became the winning run on an RBI single by Caleb Swayze.
D-B’s Chris Cook started things off in the top of the seventh with a single, but he was forced out at second on a fielder’s choice by Christian Bailey.
Austin Dayton popped up to shortstop for the second out before back-to-back singles by Gentry and Marshall loaded the bases.
Farmer ran the count full on Caleb Cook before freezing him with a game-winning called third strike.
Gentry (9-1), the Tribe's hard-luck starter, finished with five strikeouts and allowed no earned runs.
Gentry, Mason Ewers and Chris Cook had two hits apiece for the Indians.
“It was a tough way to end what had been a great season for us,” Wagner said. “These seniors took us on a ride that no one would have thought was possible.”