From staff reports
HENDERSONVILLE — Mt. Juliet's committee of pitchers kept Beech's batters off balance while Golden Bear hitters challenged District 9-AAA Pitcher of the Year Chris Carroll.
The result was an eighth straight district championship for Mt. Juliet 6-2 at Beech on Thursday night.
With last weekend's rain forcing the tournament to run a day late and the Region 5-AAA tournament starting Monday, first-year Mt. Juliet coach Jim Carter used pitcher Marshall Gei for four innings, Campbell Scholl for two and Austin Smith for the seventh. Gei picked up the win to improve to 6-3 and the trio allowed four hits as the Golden Bears improved to 24-11.
As for Carroll, who shut Mt. Juliet out earlier this season, forcing this game to be played at Beech, Bear batters reached him for 13 hits and left 10 runners on base.
"Our guys had great approaches to the plate," said Carter, who came to Mt. Juliet from Davidson Academy last summer after longtime coach Mark Purvis stepped down. "We wanted to stay through the middle, hit the ball the other way, work deep counts, have good at-bats.
"We were able to get guys on and put some pressure on them and score some runs."
Zach Ehrhart was one of five Bears with two hits, one of which drove in the game's first run in the top of the third inning. Robby Amity, who also racked up a pair of hits, followed with a single to make it 2-0.
Gei put himself in position for the win by chopping the ball over third base to break a 2-2 tie in the top of the fifth. Chris Johnston, who also had two hits, supplied a sacrifice fly.
Hunter Gilbert, another with two hits, put the finishing touches on the victory with a two-run double in the sixth.
Alex Houser also had two hits while Kyle Grace and Cody Carr collected one each. Grace reached base four times and stole two of the Bears' five bases.
Mt. Juliet will play host to Clarksville at 7 p.m. Monday in the region opener and, with a win, would be at home for either Beech or Rossview on Wednesday.