MJ's Smith three-hits Central in run-rule win
By Andy Reed
MT. JULIET— A team can go from the penthouse to the basement in the blink of an eye in baseball. The opposite trip is also probable.
Wilson Central and Mt. Juliet passed each other in the middle Wednesday night as the Golden Bears followed a 7-6 walk-off loss the night before with a 12-0 run-rule triumph over the Wildcats.
Less than 24 hours after Central's Kyle Hubbuch hit a walk-off home run off Marshall Gei, the Wildcat right-hander was rocked for six runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. Gei knocked Hubbuch out of the box with a two-run triple to deep right field in a four-run third inning.
In the meantime, Mt. Juliet right-hander Austin Smith put the Golden Bears' universe in order by retiring the first 10 Wildcats and finishing a five-inning three-hitter with a walk and four strikeouts as the Golden Bears pulled even with Central atop the District 9-AAA South Division with a final 8-2 record, 18-9 overall.
"I'm not totally sure [of the tiebreaking procedure] and really, we did not even think about that," first-year Mt. Juliet coach Jim Carter said. "We thought about going out here and giving our best effort and playing as hard as we can. We had a difficult night last night, and those guys did a heck of a job last night. But I'm proud of our guys for the way we handled the adversity. However the tiebreaker stuff shakes out, we'll see.
"Austin did a heck of a job. Very proud of his effort. He kept his poise. He threw strikes. We made plays behind him defensively. He made big pitches when he needed to, and he's been doing that for us all year."
Central slipped to 16-10-1.
"We had a big win last night and it took a lot out of us," veteran Wildcat coach Anthony Ford said. "We came over here and got humbled pretty quick."
As for the tiebreaker?
"I think it goes to the third tiebreaker, which is runs given up in our series, which they blew that out of the water tonight with 12 runs," Ford said. "They ended one on our side and we're two so we'll be going to Beech."
Mt. Juliet jumped on Hubbuch with three straight singles by Cody Carr, Zach Ehrhart and Hunter Gilbert for two runs in the first inning. It could have been worse for Central but for Robby Amity's double-play grounder to shortstop Cullen Smith, allowing Ehrhart to score the second run.
But the Bears broke the game open with four in the third. Alex Houser doubled in Gilbert and Gei chased Hubbuch with his triple. Chris Johnston greeted reliever Kyle Schmitt with an RBI single.
Ten Bears went to the plate and six crossed it in the fourth as Schmitt gave way to Dalton McCorkle. Ehrhart, Gilbert, Amity and Houser rapped consecutive one-out singles. Johnston singled in a run and Kyle Grace dropped a three-run double into a water-logged left-center field to cap the scoring.
The infield was covered during the morning rain. But wind blew the tarp off the right side, leaving the basepath between first and second base muddier than the left side. But despite repeated hits to that side, Mt. Juliet second baseman Ehrhart and Central's Colten Morris had little trouble with the footing.
Gilbert went 3-for-3 while Ehrhart, Amity, Houser and Gei rapped out two hits each as Mt. Juliet finished with 14 safeties.
Smith broke up Smith's perfect game with a one-out single off Gilbert's glove in the hole at shortstop in the fourth. Hubbuch followed with an infield chopper for another hit before Ehrhart turned a 4-3 double play.
Jake Lefler doubled to deep right field to open the Wildcat fifth.
Central will play host to Smith County at 6 p.m. today and Mt. Juliet will do likewise with Riverdale at 7 p.m. Friday.
Station Camp slips past Lebanon in seventh
GALLATIN — Lebanon entered the bottom of the seventh inning three outs from a win, only to see host Station Camp put together three singles and two walks and take advantage of the Blue Devils' seventh error to score three runs to snatch a 7-6 victory Wednesday.
Matt Fudge's one-out single to right field drove in the winning run for the Bison against Jack McKeon, who came on to start the inning after starter Connor Harris held Station Camp to four runs [just one earned] on three hits through six innings.
Lebanon doubled Station Camp's hits total 12-6. Leadoff batter Eddie McDaniels went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. McKeon and Taylor Bryan each banged out a double among their two hits apiece. Bryan singled in McDaniels for a 1-0 first-inning lead.
Station Camp scored three times on two errors in the second before Lebanon chipped away for single scores in the fourth and fifth and went up 6-3 with three in the sixth. Bryan doubled home McKeon in the fifth. Four straight one-out singles produced one run in the sixth, with Jay Pittman's bunt single driving in the first run. McKeon followed with a sacrifice fly for the second and Bryce Lester came home on a wild pitch.