CHURCH HILL — It may have been April 1, but Volunteer's Brad Halderman wasn't fooling around during a key Big 7 Conference baseball game against Tennessee High on Monday night.
Halderman went 3-for-3 at the plate and went the distance on the mound, striking out the last two batters he faced with two men on to preserve Volunteer's 4-3 victory over the Vikings.
"The guy just went out there and bulldogged it," Tennessee High coach Preston Roberts said.
The Vikings put two runners on with one out in the top of the seventh inning before Halderman bore down to strike out Peyton Henley and record the second out. The runners moved to second and third when a pitch squirted to the backstop, putting even more heat on Halderman.
But he didn't flinch, and a called third strike ended the game.
Halderman's strong finish came after Tennessee High touched him up for three runs in the early innings. Zack Hall came through with an RBI single in the second to get the Vikings on the board. Evan Wilmer hit a sacrifice fly in the third and Zak Kitzmiller walked and scored on a throwing error to give Tennessee High (5-6, 1-4) a 3-0 lead.
But Volunteer (4-9, 1-3) came right back with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Halderman singled and scored to start the rally, which was compounded by a costly three-base throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt that tied the game.
Jake Roberts, who laid down the bunt, made it all the way to third and later scored the eventual game-winning run.
After the fourth, Halderman (2-0) said he returned to the mound feeling like he had a new lease on life.
"We all felt like it was a new game," he said. "We just needed to keep our composure up."
Conner Greene (1-2) took the loss for Tennessee High.
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