Mitchell drives in seven to lead Friendship
By Andy Reed
Anyone who treats Cale Mitchell as a typical No. 9 hitter does so at his own peril.
The last batter in Friendship Christian's lineup had the final word in the sixth inning Wednesday with a walk-off grand slam home run in the Commanders' 13-2 Region 4-A final victory over visiting Trousdale County.
The senior shortstop finished with nine RBI as his three-run double down the left-field line staked Friendship to a 4-0 lead in the second inning.
Friendship improved to 28-6 and will play host to Marion County [10-10], a 10-0 loser at Silverdale, in Friday's sectional, expected to be at 7 p.m. Trousdale County will carry a 17-13 mark to Silverdale [25-2-1] in Chattanooga.
Austin Godwin pitched the first 5 1/3 innings for the win, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Stefan Remus came on and induced a double-play grounder turned by Mitchell to end the Trousdale sixth inning.
Trousdale right-hander Lee Haley battled for 5 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits. He worked around 11 walks and a hit batter. He left with the bases loaded and left-hander Cody Gammons came on and served up the slam to Mitchell. Haley did hold Friendship scoreless in the first inning, snapping the Commanders' streak of scoring innings at 21 dating to the regular-season finale against Hendersonville.
In addition to catching the pitches of Godwin and Remus, Gunner Osborne drove in a couple of runs on a single and a double. His second-inning single scored Tanner Martin with the game's first run. His double sent Brennan Swindoll home in the fifth and his courtesy runner, Parker Pinnell, came home on Hunter Watts' two-run single.
Swindoll, Friendship's ace pitcher who will join Remus in signing with Chattanooga State on Friday morning, played left field on Wednesday and drove in a pair of runs on a third-inning sacrifice fly and a sixth-inning double. Godwin got the sixth started with a double. Remus and Michael Hawks also had a single apiece.
Bears break tie in sixth, edge Rossview 6-5
MT. JULIET — Cody Carr raced home on Robby Amity's two-out single in the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday, lifting Mt. Juliet to a 6-5 win over visiting Rossview in the Region 5-AAA final.
The Golden Bears jumped to a 4-1 lead in the first inning with Gei capping that inning with a two-out, two-run double.
But Rossview chipped away at the lead and forced a 5-5 tie with two runs in the top of the sixth against reliever Brandon Smith [4-4], who ended up with the win after Carr reached on an error in the bottom half, stole second and scored on Amity's hit.
Austin Smith, Brandon's brother, retired the Hawks in order in the seventh for the save, sealing Mt. Juliet's 26th win of the season [against 11 losses] and setting up Friday's 7 p.m. home sectional against Brentwood [28-15], a 4-3 extra-inning loser to Centennial [28-9], which will play host to Rossview [27-11].
"It was an exciting game to watch," first-year Mt. Juliet coach Jim Carter said. "I was proud of our guys. They gave great effort."
Gei pitched the first 3 1/3 innings and left during Rossview's two-run fourth inning. Brandon Smith came on with a runner on second and struck out Rossview's Nos. 2 and 3 hitters looking to end the threat. Smith gave up two earned runs and punched out six.
Mt. Juliet's pitching trio surrendered nine hits. The Bears banged out seven hits, including two and an RBI by Chris Johnston.