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Bears' depth shows in 9-AAA title win
May 12, 2007 12:00 am
SMYRNA — Mt. Juliet's pitching staff is deeper than Taylor Hill, B.J. Boston and Josh Cotham. And Dustin Murphy proved it Wednesday as the Golden Bears repeated as District 9-AAA champions with a 6-4 win over top-seed Smyrna.
Murphy [6-1] scattered five hits and six walks while striking out five in four innings. He surrendered three runs [only one earned] and left with a 5-3 lead.
Smyrna loaded the bases against Logan Gray in the fifth and got a run before Coach Mark Purvis waived in Boston, who struck out the Nos. 1 and 2 batters and got the No. 3 hitter on a comebacker to the mound to escape without further damage. The senior right-hander went on to allow one hit and no walks in three innings while fanning five to earn the save as the Golden Bears won their third first-place district plaque in Purvis' eight seasons with a 33-10 record.
"Dustin Murphy gave us some big ininngs," Purvis said. "Our plan was to get it to B.J. in the last couple of innings. We had to go to him a little sooner. B.J. just stepped up."
Mt. Juliet ented the tournament as the No. 3 seed before going 4-0 in the tournament, including two wins over No. 2 Beech.
"It's just a huge week for us to do this on back-to-back nights, beating two of the better teams you'll see," said Purvis, whose Bears beat Beech on the Buccaneers' field Tuesday night to earn their sixth Region 5-AAA berth in the last seven seasons and the right to tackle Smyrna last night.
Mt. Juliet will be at home Monday for the region opener against a team from the Clarksville area. Purvis plans to start the game at 7 p.m. Smyrna will take a 30-6 record on the road.
As for the offense, the Bears pecked away at Smyrna with scores in five of the seven innings. Tyler Carr walked and scored on an overthrow following back-to-back passed balls in the first innings and cracked an RBI single in the second.
Hill and Ryan Overstreet homered in the third and Overstreet stroked a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Jeff Murphy, Dustin's brother, hit an RBI triple in the seventh.
The Murphy brothers, Hill and Caleb Knox singled.
Trousdale concedes 8-A championship to Friendship
For the second straight season, Trousdale County conceded the District 8-A championship to host Friendship Christian after knocking off Westmoreland 6-4 in the loser's bracket final.
With the Yellow Jackets in the Region 4-A tournament and only a home game as a reward for the two wins needed over the next two days over the Commanders [who crushed his team 18-0 Monday], Trousdale coach Davy Cothron conceded the title to the Commanders in an attempt to save his pitching staff. He did the same thing last year and the Jackets won two road games to reach the State Tournament, where they also got a win.
Westmoreland, which was dealing with a school tragedy at the time, also passed up on playing the Commanders in the district final a few years ago.
The championship is Friendship's 21st since 1982. The Commanders will carry a 23-12 record into Monday's Region 4-A opener at FCS. Coach John McNeal plans to start the game at 4 p.m.