MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Two outs, no problem.
In its second loser’s bracket game of the day, South Pittsburg’s baseball team scored all eight of its runs with two outs to eliminate Eagleville, 8-2. After losing to Eagleville to open the Class A state tournament on Tuesday, the Pirates first eliminated Grace Christian Academy 7-4, then avenged that first-day loss.
“We were embarrassed after what happened against them in our first game,” said Pirates junior left hander Matt Allen, who went the distance for the win against Eagleville. “We made a bunch of errors and we knew that isn’t us. So we felt like we had something to prove today, especially with another chance against them.”
South Pittsburg (37-3) will play defending state champion Decatur County (35-2) today at 4 (EDT) at Riverdale.
The Pirates (37-3) took an early lead on Blaze Moats’ two-run single in the second. After Eagleville had rallied to tie the game in the top of the fifth, South Pittsburg answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning. It began with Cameron Moss lining a two-run single and continued with Michael Allen’s RBI hit and a wild pitch that scored a run. Jacob Toney capped the scoring with a two-run single in the sixth.
Matt Allen scattered six hits and struck out five. His twin brother Michael went 2-3 with a stolen base and also ran full-speed into the centerfield wall, leaving a large dent, when he was tracking a fly ball that cleared the wall for a home run in the fifth.
Earlier in the day senior left-hander Hunter Giles threw 134 pitches for the complete-game win, his ninth of the season. Giles (11-0) also got defensive help to work out of trouble in each of the last three innings, coaxing a double play with two on to end the fourth and ending the game with a bases-loaded strikeout, after allowing two runs in the inning. Centerfielder Matt Allen also came up to make a diving catch earlier in the seventh to prevent at least one run from scoring.
“That was a senior who knew he might be pitching his last high school game,” Pirates coach Wesley Stone said. “We knew he was tired before the seventh, but he asked us to let him finish and after the way he’s carried us this year, we wanted him to have that chance.”
After scoring one run in each of the first three innings, the Pirates tacked on four in the fourth, all coming with two outs. Jacob Toney, who already had two doubles in the game, drilled a monstrous three-run home run over left-center and Jake Stone added an RBI as well.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...