MURFREESBORO — Dobyns-Bennett's baseball team got the win it had been trying for since 1996, but the Indians weren't able to carry that momentum into their second game of the day at the TSSAA Class AAA tournament.
Hours after defeating Brentwood 3-2 in eight innings in an elimination game Wednesday at Oakland High School — the program's first state tournament victory in 18 years — the Tribe fell 4-2 against pitcher Cody Purvis and Dyer County to see a remarkable season come to an end.
The Indians (34-5-1) won the Big 7, district and regional championships this year and, in four seasons, D-B compiled 129 wins — the most ever for the program in that time span.
"We battled in every game and were in the toughest pool, but we out-hit every team we played," said D-B coach Ryan Wagner. "The bracket was stacked with good pitching."
Stranded baserunners were the Indians' downfall in Murfreesboro. Including Tuesday night's 5-4 opening loss to Houston, D-B left 28 men on base during its three-game state tournament run.
The Indians stranded nine against the Choctaws and had two erased on a pickoff at first and a failed stolen base.
"We just couldn't get the timely hits you have got to get, but in the end, we battled back in each game with a chance," Wagner said. "But we also made some mistakes. Tonight we made two baserunning mistakes in the first inning that were costly."
Purvis gave up seven hits, but he didn't allow a run until the Indians mounted a comeback in their last at-bat.
Purvis, with his team holding a comfortable 4-0 lead entering the top of the seventh, struck out the first two Tribe batters he faced. He followed by walking Sammy Salyers and Newley Burton on nine total pitches, and battled Payton Marshall before issuing a base on balls that loaded the bags with two out.
Christian Bailey stepped up and slapped a one-hopper to left-center that drove in D-B pinch-runner Hunter Millsap and Burton, and the Choctaws' lead wasn't so comfortable anymore.
Purvis dug down deep against the next D-B batter, Logan Gentry, securing the win with a disputed strikeout looking that kept the Choctaws (36-8) playing.
Gentry and Kurt Mattioda finished with two hits apiece and Salyers, Burton and Bailey had the other hits for the Tribe.
Jeb Lambert (5-1) took the loss for the Indians. He gave up four hits and three runs, all earned, struck out six, walked five and hit three batters. Josh Holt relieved Lambert with one out in the fifth and gave up three hits and one run, walking one.
Dyer County scored two in the first, on singles from Trysten Barlow and Christian Halterman, and got a solo home run from Tyler Holcomb in the bottom of the second. Tyler Brown scored his second run of the game in the bottom of the sixth on a Tucker Cozort line-drive single.
Earlier Wednesday, the Tribe fought off the Bruins thanks to a two-run double from Sammy Stewart in the top of the eighth inning and Caleb Cook's complete-game win.
D-B broke on top in the first when Burton scored on a two-out RBI from Bailey. That 1-0 lead remained as Cook and his Bruins counterpart, Will Gaddis, subsequently matched zeroes on the scoreboard through the sixth.
Brentwood (29-8) finally found traction against Cook in the bottom of the seventh when it loaded the bags for Gaddis, whose dribbler drove in the tying run. Cook kept the Tribe alive by striking out Nathan Jay, sending the game to extra innings.
Cook and Aaron Lawson opened the eighth with singles to left. Quentin Polinski and Skylar East, in to run for Cook and Lawson, respectively, advanced to second and third on Mattioda's sacrifice bunt — setting up Stewart's heroics. Stewart ripped a 2-2 pitch to right to plate both runners, though he was tagged out at third when he was caught trying to stretch his double into a triple.
David Ferguson relieved Gaddis and got the third out, and the teams went to the bottom of the eighth with D-B up 3-1.
Brentwood didn't go down without a fight. With runners on first and second, Aaron Maher plated P.J. Scalisi with a line drive off Cook's glove to trim D-B's lead to 3-2, and the Bruins loaded the bases with two outs. But Cook induced a popup by Tim Robuck and the Tribe had their first win at state since 1996.
Cook (8-0) scattered three hits and gave up just one earned run over eight innings, walking three, fanning five and inducing 11 groundball outs. He plunked two and threw a wild pitch.
Gaddis allowed nine hits and three earned runs in taking the loss. He walked three and struck out five.
Cook and Lawson each went 2-for-4 for the Indians, who stranded 10 baserunners. Scalisi was 2-for-3 and Hunter Anderson went 1-for-3 for the other Brentwood hit.
The Bruins, who fell 4-0 to Dyer County in their tournament opener, were eliminated.comments powered by Disqus