Talon Harris shares a congratulatory hi-five with teammate Daniel Crawley after Harris hit a home run during the Soddy-Daisy vs. Ooltewah baseball game Tuesday evening at Soddy-Daisy High school in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. Staff photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Soddy-Daisy’s James Fowlkes leads the area with 15 home runs, and his closest competitor might be teammate Talon Harris.
While Fowlkes was held hitless for only the second time this season Tuesday night, Harris unloaded three homers — one to right-center field, one to left-center and another to straightaway center — as the Trojans beat Ooltewah 9-2.
With the Owls’ 9-8 win Monday night, the teams are tied atop District 5-AAA with 7-3 records, and each has one more district series next week. If they each win two games, they’re looking at a tiebreaker that could go down to the last-place team in the district.
Harris’ three home runs Tuesday — part of a 4-for-4, four-RBI night — gave him 13 for the season, just two behind his senior teammate and fellow outfielder.
“We aggravate each other — ‘Where you at, man? I’m catching up’ — but it’s a friendly battle,” Harris said.
After his first three-homer game, he said he still is getting used to being considered a heavy hitter.
“I never hit a home run until my freshman year,” the junior said.
His power display had Soddy-Daisy coaches considering moving him out of the leadoff spot, “but he continues to impress us with his ability to hit the ball all over the field and to get on base, and he’s fast as lightning,” Trojans coach Jared Hensley said.
Harris gave the Trojans the lead in his first plate appearance, blasting a 2-1 pitch from Kevin Dupree.
Batting ninth, Taylor Dalton increased the Trojans’ lead to 4-0 in the second with a three-run shot.
The Trojans increased the lead to 8-1 in the bottom of the third on fielder’s-choice RBIs from Austin Smith and Dalton and Harris’ two-run homer. Harris hit his third homer in the sixth.
Phillip DePrimo and Reese Shoemaker provided Ooltewah’s RBIs.
Ooltewah had its chances, stranding eight runs, but Soddy-Daisy pitcher Brad Dotson was up to the task. In five innings of work he allowed just two runs despite walking six, striking out none and hitting one.
“He has done a good job for us this year,” Hensley said. “He didn’t have his best stuff and walked a few too many for my taste, but he pitched his way out of his jams.”