BRISTOL, Tenn. – Tennessee High and Dobyns-Bennett play in different classifications these days, but their rivalry still exists whenever the two meet on the baseball field.
On Friday, the Bristol boys scouted DB for a four-run lead in the first inning before lighting it up and blistering the Indians for a 14-4 victory, courtesy of the mercy rule at Tod Houston Field.
Tribe coach Ryan Wagner acknowledged that the game offers great competition – generally.
“We did, but we didn’t compete like we have to, to be honest with you,” Wagner said. “We have to compete better than we did or I don’t know if it’s very good for us.”
The Class 4A Indians (7-5) immediately caught fire against Tennessee High top right-hander Noah Smith, tallying five hits on their first six hits. Sam Ritz hit an RBI double, Tanner Kilgore and Jack Browder each scored a run with a sacrifice fly, and Turner Stout delivered a single with a score to make it 4-0 straight away.
But Smith settled in for the win, tossing three straight no-hitter innings before giving in to Braden Wilhoit for the game’s final three outs in the fifth.
Tennessee High flashed an error-free defense and their pitchers walked just one batter.
“We kind of shut down offensively once we got behind and didn’t do the things we needed to do to have a good approach,” Wagner said.
DB finished with six hits, including two from Peyton Grimm.
The Vikings quickly chased down Stout, DB’s starting pitcher, with their own first four-run. Braden Blevins ripped a two-run single to cut the deficit in half before Gregory Harris hit an RBI single and Logan Quales followed with an RBI double.
Leading 5-4 in three innings, Class 3A Tennessee High (10-1) opened the game with a seven-run fourth against relievers Brady Carter and Will Hurd.
Garrett Cross and Garrett Embree both had two-run singles to power the rally, which featured one of three DB errors, this one producing two unearned runs.
Cross, Embree, Blevins, Harris and Wilhoit each had two hits and Quales recorded three RBIs. Wilhoit added a second RBI to end the game, and Evan Mutter also threw a run.
Tribe pitchers allowed 11 hits, walked nine – seven scored – and hit two batters.
Carter, who gave up five runs in three innings of work, suffered the loss.
“Defensively we didn’t do what we had to do…and on the mound,” Wagner said. “We made a few mistakes, but we just didn’t make plays that we need to make to be in games against a good batting team. We had a good two weeks, but I made up for it a bit. But you know, at the end of the day, you just have to forget about it and move on.