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Central, Watertown suffer one-run losses in region opener

Staff Reports • Dec 15, 2015 at 2:49 PM

The high school baseball season hit heartbreak hotel for Wilson Central and Watertown, whose seasons ended in one-run region-tournament losses Monday night.

Central fell at home to Rossview 2-1 in Region 5-AAA while Watertown surrendered four runs in the seventh inning of a 7-6 defeat at Jackson County in 4-A.

Rossview jumped to a 2-0 first-inning lead against senior right-hander Kyle Hubbuch on a single, hit batter, ground ball and a sacrifice fly.

The Wildcats scored in the fourth inning on Jake Lefler’s RBI single to send Tony Pfefferle home. They went on to load the bases with one out for a golden opportunity to tie or even take the lead. But back-to-back infield popups enabled the Hawks to escape.

Rossview finished with three singles and Central five as the Hawks struck out seven times against Hubbuch. Ben Spradley had two hits and Malone Smith one for the Wildcats.

Central’s season ended at 23-12, finishing with an 18-3 run which included the District 9-AAA championship, while Rossview’s will continue at 22-12-1 to Clarksville on Wednesday.

Watertown’s campaign concluded at 18-15 while Jackson County will carry a 7-11-1 mark to Goodpasture, a 17-0 winner over Clarkrange, in the region final.

Purple Tiger coach E.J. Wood said there was no excuse for coughing up the lead which came after Watertown scored three times in the top of the seventh to snap a 3-3 tie.

“We did not come prepared to play and that’s what happens when you play lesser teams,” Wood said. “We thought they were going to roll over, and they sure didn’t.

Seth Price and Justin Johnson hit two-run singles for the Tigers, who scored three times in the third inning and again in the seventh. Austin Brown had two hits and scored twice, including the go-ahead run in the seventh on a passed ball. Dusty Meador also had a hit.

Watertown hit into a pair of double plays.

“They knew their field,” Wood said of the Blue Devils.

Johnson pitched the first five innings. Price worked the sixth but neither he or Meador could record an out in the seventh as Jackson County turned a hit batter, back-to-back singles, an error and walk into a bases-loaded two-run bloop single to  right field to end it.

Meador took the loss.

“Justin Johnson played with heart all year,” Wood said of the senior. “He led us. He is someone we’ll talk about for years to come.”

With Central and Watertown out, only Friendship Christian remains alive in wilson County high school baseball.

The Commanders, last years’ Class A champions, will play in their first Division II sectional Thursday at University School of Jackson with a 3 p.m. doubleheader. Should the teams split, they will return Friday for the deciding game with the winner advancing to LaVergne for next week’s Spring Fling.

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