Getting one monster swing of the bat from Jake Timbes, who blasted a decisive grand slam with two outs in the fifth inning, D-B claimed the regular-season title with a 7-5 decision over homestanding Tennessee High.
“This is one goal,” said ninth-year Tribe boss Ryan Wagner. “We still have a lot we want to accomplish, but I’m proud of the guys for what we’ve done.
“We’re going to enjoy this for a day or two and then we’ll get back to work.”
D-B finished one game up on Science Hill, earning the top seed in the District 1-AAA tournament to be held here at Tod Houston Field.
The Tribe will take an 18-10 overall record into the tournament. Tennessee High, meanwhile, will enter with a 21-8 mark as the third or fourth seed.
A STAR RISES
Tennessee High led 5-3 with two outs in the top of the fifth when Timbes, just a freshman, launched a first-pitch Davis Hall fastball over the Bill Gatton sign in left-center field, a no-doubter that the 15-year-old will never forget.
A single by Derek Thurston and walks to Brogan Beckner and Jackson McDavid had set the table for the 6-foot-1, 150-pound Timbes.
“I was thinking about driving one to the gap to knock in a couple runs,” Timbes said. “But he threw me a fastball that I liked and I connected well on it.
“It’s pretty cool, really. It’s not every day you can come out here and play on the varsity squad as a freshman, much less hit a grand slam and pick up the save as we win the conference championship.”
Oh yes, Timbes did pitch the seventh inning to record the save for Sebastian Fugate, who threw three frames in relief of an ineffective Beckner.
A junior left-hander who struck out four, Fugate ended the fourth, fifth and sixth innings with punchouts with runners in scoring position.
“Sebastian Fugate did a good job piecing it together, holding them in check there and making some big strikeout pitches,” Wagner said. “And Jake, he’s been big all year long — he’s going to be a special player.”
UGLY EARLY ON
The first four innings featured some ugly baseball as Beckner struggled on the mound and the Vikings found it difficult playing defense.
Tennessee High committed three errors in one inning and had a total of three bad throws to first base on groundballs, and the Vikings finished the game with four muffs in all.
D-B took advantage of those miscues to lead 3-0, only to see the Vikings fight back to gain their 5-3 edge on an RBI single in the fourth by Ryan Gibson.
C.J. Hess and Jarrett Powell also had RBIs for Tennessee High, which outhit D-B 7-5.