Just that close: Rebels edge Seymour at Karns
By Marcus Fitzsimmons | (email@example.com)
KNOXVILLE — Everybody stopped to watch.
Of course they didn’t have too much choice Saturday when Maryville and Seymour blew by the time restrictions in a meeting of tourney perfect teams at Karns. The entire invitational was waiting to see who would head to Anderson County High School to face Pigeon Forge in the title game and a few were beginning to wonder if the winner would even have the time to make the drive before the scheduled start.
Ben Young put those minds at ease in the top of the eighth as his RBI double put Maryville ahead and Jake McCormick struck out two of final four Eagle batters he faced to give Maryville the 7-6 extra-inning victory. It was the Rebels third extra-frame game in the opening season’s week and the third time Maryville has pulled off the one-run win over that same stretch.
“It means we’re doing things well at the end when the game is on the line,” Maryville skipper Jim gaylor told The Daily Times. “Ben got a big hit there at the end. Patrick Poteet is about as hot I’ve ever seen anyone right now. Daniel Raby got his first hit of the year at a really good time and McCormick hadn’t pitched until this year and has two wins out of the bullpen in two nights.”
McCormick worked the final two frames for the Rebels (4-0) walking two and striking out four while facing nine. Seymour (3-1) threatened in the seventh with Bryce Catlet and Gunner Gibson on second and third respectively with one out but McCormick forced a ground out before escaping the jam with swinging strikeout by Hunter Longmire.
“We had a few opportunities in the sixth and seventh to go ahead with runners on second and third but just couldn’t get them in,” Seymour coach Scott Norman said after the three plus hour affair concluded. “This time of year, we’re just wanting to see lots of good pitching and they put three good arms out there against us and they all threw well.”
Maryville tied the game at 6 with Poteet leading off the fifth on his third walk. Greg Jones followed with his second double of the day. Drew Curtis singled in Poteet and Jones scoring on a fielders choice with no out.
Seymour starting pitcher Larry Kennedy helped his own cause with a fourth-inning ribbie single for the two-run lead after both clubs slugged their way to four-run thirds.
Maryville struck first taking a 4-1 lead and Young, Jones and Drew Curtis doubled off Kennedy. Jones shot to the left center wall brought in a trio of Rebel runners and set Curtis for the follow on RBI. The Eagles answered with four runs off Maryville starter Alex Curl to retake the lead. Gibson delivered a two-run single to reward some aggressive Seymour base-running then scored himself as Sise sent a deep ball into the gusty outfield at Coach Dwight Smith Field.
“Anytime you can beat Seymour it’s a good thing. These guys know each other and they’re a smaller school than we are, so they’re always ready to play us,” Gaylor said. “Every win’s big. We’re learning things about our team, mostly good, a few things we need to work on early in the year. None of our starters have gone past four innings so far, we’ve had some go into the fifth and walk someone and come out, but no one’s gone all the way through five. We’re giving up too many walks early but its early and we’re winning close games”
Kennedy went two batters into the fifth for SHS before leaving the mound for the infield after striking out three and walking four while surrendering six hits. Longmire came in to work two innings of relief. Hunter Neff worked a scoreless seventh before Summers (L) came in for the eighth.
“We got a lot out of that game,” Norman said. “We had a few guys that hadn’t pitched a whole lot that came in and did what we asked them to do, not overthrow, put the ball across the plate and give us a chance to make a play and they did.
“Maryville’s a good club that can hit.”
Curl faced one Eagle in the fifth before Poteet came on for two innings of relief work and setting up McCormick to close.