Per tournament rules, a tie in Soddy-Daisy's Trojans Classic counts as half a win and half a loss.
That situation reared its sister-kissing ugly head Thursday as the host Trojans let a sure baseball victory slip away and Rhea County shrugged off six scoreless at-bats and rallied with four runs in the top of the seventh inning to avoid a full loss.
"It's sort of like when you have that girlfriend you really like and she keeps breaking your heart and you keep coming back thinking she won't do it this time," Soddy-Daisy coach Jared Hensley said. "But we've had our heart broken a ton this year, and we're a little numb to the pain."
His Trojans got a strong five-inning pitching performance from Dylan Perry — just one hit allowed — and had skipped out to a 4-0 lead through six.
"Our strong suit is that we swing it, but the last two games we'd scored one run," Rhea County coach Rusty Ray said. "Credit to Soddy-Daisy's pitcher. He kept us off balance, but I know we're capable of hitting it. We just walked through this one — didn't play with a whole lot of concentration or effort except for the seventh inning."
Aided by a pickoff, a caught stealing and a pair of double plays, Perry breezed — he ended only one inning with a Rhea runner aboard — and left with a comfortable lead. A passed ball led to one of the Trojans' first-inning runs, and Harrison Travis' single to right field scored Jacob Jennings to give Soddy-Daisy a 2-0 lead.
Jennings led off the third with a single, advanced to second on a hit back to the pitcher and took third on a wild pitch. He then scored the third run on Addison Roberts' single to right. Jennings also figured into the scoring for the Trojans' final run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Rhea put three seventh-inning walks to good use and rallied for the tie on consecutive singles from Braxton Dieckhaus, Dusty Smith and Layne Keylon.
Neither the Eagles nor the Trojans were able to push across a run in the eighth, and the game ended due to the tournament's time limit.
"The guys asked why we were quitting. I said tournament rules and then told them, 'You're lucky to get out of here with a tie. You better take it and go,'" Ray said. "We had no business with a chance at winning this game. We didn't put forth the effort."
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.