Swindoll shuts out Marion County
From staff reports
CHATTANOOGA — Since the TSSAA expanded the baseball state tournament to eight teams in 2003, Friendship Christian had played the sectional at home every season - until Friday.
The Commanders had earned another home game via a Region 4-A championship. But rain, and FCS commencement ceremonies scheduled for Sunday, prompted Friday's game against Marion County to be played at Lookout Valley, where Friendship has gone for a weekend tournament the last few years.
It didn't matter where the game was played as the Commanders run-ruled Marion County 10-0 in six innings, punching Friendship's 11th trip to state, seventh straight and 10th in the last 11 seasons.
Hours after signing to play junior-college baseball with nearby Chattanooga State, left-hander Brennan Swindoll held the Warriors to three hits and a walk while striking out nine as the Commanders climbed to 29-6.
Friendship scored five times in the second inning, four in the fourth and the walk-off run in the sixth on Caleb Snider's RBI double.
As is often the case in high school baseball, the pitcher got the big hit. Swindoll swatted a two-run double in the second to go with RBI singles by Snider and Hunter Watts and Michael Hawks' groundout.
Snider and Stefan Remus, who officially joined Swindoll as new Chattanooga State Tigers earlier Friday, had RBI singles and Austin Godwin a run-scoring groundout in the fourth.
Snider had three of Friendship's 11 hits while Watts and Remus each racked up two and Hawks, Godwin and Tanner Martin one apiece.
The state tournament, part of the BlueCross Spring Fling, will get underway Tuesday in Murfreesboro. The Class A bracket will be played at Riverdale and Middle Tennessee Christian. The eight teams are expected to receive their marching orders by Sunday when the TSSAA places them in the brackets if two games which weren't played Friday can be completed.
Friendship will be joined in Murfreesboro by Rockwood, Grace Christian, Scotts Hill, Decatur County-Riverside [which has won the last three state championships] and Silverdale [which shut out Trousdale County 6-0 on the other side of Chattanooga]. Rockwood and Grace are in the same district, which by rule will put them in opposite brackets in the state.
Games still to be played, weather permitting, are Cornersville at Forrest and East Robertson at Summertown.
In Class AAA, Mt. Juliet's home game against Brentwood was pushed back 24 hours to 7 p.m. tonight.
At the very same time beyond the left-field wall, the Golden Bear soccer team will play host to Ravenwood in a sectional as it tries to become the first Wilson County team in that sport to advance to state-tournament play.