The Dierks Outlaws and the Murfreesboro Rattlers did not make it the turf at Baum Stadium, but both teams certainly left their marks on the 2A State Baseball Tournament bracket.
The Outlaws opened tournament play on May 12 as the underdogs with a fourth-place finish in the South Region against the top-seeded Conway Christian Eagles of the West Region. After jumping out to a 4-0 lead and running the Eagle starter off the mound in the first inning, Dierks let CC slip up on them in the third inning and found themselves down, 6-5. The two teams had a defensive battle for two innings before the Eagles increased their lead to 8-5 in the sixth inning.
The Outlaw offense went to work in the top of the seventh inning and posted 4 runs before relief pitcher Lane Woodruff and the Dierks defense sat the CC batters down in order to secure a 9-8 win. Woodruff threw for 4.2 innings and allowed 3 hits and 2 runs and struck out 5 and walked 3.
Dierks outhit the Eagles 14-11 and played perfect in the field while their opponent had 4 miscues in the field.
Jacob Sharp collected 2 hits and 4 RBIs to lead the Outlaws followed by Blayn Turner with 2 hits and 2 RBIs. Other Outlaw hitters included Zane Cox, who got the start on the mound, Colton Strode, Woodruff, Tyler Kesterson (2), Jarrett Fox (2), Cale Adams and Caleb Adams (2).
The Outlaws returned to the field the next day up the road from Junction City in Parkers Chapel but were eliminated by McCrory, 7-4.
It was Rattler on Rattler when Murfreesboro (third spot from the South Region) opened tournament play on May 12 against Magazine, the three-seed from the West Region. The local Rattlers, coached by Murfreesboro graduate Marc McRae, got a 3-0 win to move ahead to face an old conference foe, the Mount Ida Lions, who are coached by another Murfreesboro graduate, Ethan Crocker. (Crocker’s dad, Robbie, is a volunteer assistant coach with the Rattlers.)
The Lions came into the tournament game having lost only two games. They left the tournament tagged with a third loss, courtesy of a 13-3 beating from Crocker’s alma mater.
The Rattlers collected 13 hits, including 11 off Lion starter T.J. Wilson, while Mount Ida could only manage 5 hits off Logan Wilcher in the five-inning game. Wilcher allowed 3 runs, struck out 4 and walked 1.
Jarrett Pitchford led the Rattlers at the plate with 2 hits and 3 RBIs followed by Tyler Gilbert 2 hits and 2 RBIs. Other Rattler hitters included Ryan Roberts (2), J.C. Motley, Adam Bailey, Wilcher (2), Jack Stuard, Daniel Myers and Chris Odom.
The Rattlers had 2 errors in the field while Crocker’s Lions committed only one miscue.
The win pushed the Rattlers ahead and they faced another old conference foe, the Junction City Dragons. The Dragons made short work of the Rattlers and sent them home with a 10-3 loss.