An early two-run deficit meant nothing to Soddy-Daisy’s baseball team Thursday night.
Catcher Dillon Clift and pitcher Andy Wright each hit two-run homers, Tre Carter stole home and Soddy-Daisy scored eight runs in the second inning en route to a 13-3 win over Lincoln County in the Trojan Classic at Tom Higgins Field.
“We’ve given up a few of those,” Trojans coach Jared Hensley said. “It’s kind of nice to have an inning like that.”
Two Lincoln County pitchers – starter Cameron McCoy and reliever Jake Pierce – used 46 pitches as Soddy-Daisy sent 13 batters to the plate in the long inning.
The Falcons had scored twice in the top of the second for the early lead, but the Trojans’ uprising turned the game around.
Soddy-Daisy added two runs in the third on Christian Amos’ single up the middle on his birthday and added three in the fifth on a sacrifice fly, bases-loaded walk and wild pitch.
“There’s not a whole lot to say,” Lincoln County coach Travis Tate said. “We had seven hits to their nine, but get run-ruled, but that’s what happens when you give up an inning like that one.”
The tournament continues on Friday with games at four sites – Soddy-Daisy, Ooltewah, Central and Red Bank.
Lincoln County (11-16), coming off back-to-back losses to Tullahoma, scored twice off Wright on run-scoring singles by Chanler Hardiman and Jacob Dickenson. Hardiman’s hit scored Pierce, who started the inning with a triple to right.
The lead was short-lived.
Amos, who was 2-for-2, scored once and drove in three runs, lit the fuse with a hit to right.
Baylor Stewart walked and Carter’s infield hit – a perfectly placed bunt toward third – loaded the bases.
Then the runs started flowing like water
McCoy fielded Dev DeMatteo’s slow bouncer in front of the mound, but his toss pulled catcher Kerby Smith off the plate and Amos scored.
Caden Rickett’s sacrifice fly to center scored Stewart and Carter raced to third on an errant throw to the infield on the play. Carter then stole home for the third run.
On a 3-1 pitch from McCoy, Clift rocketed his two-run homer, his third of the season, to center field to give the Trojans (13-10) a 5-2 advantage.
“The game was tight and we had changed the lineup to give guys better opportunities,” Clift said. “I got a fastball up and in and hit it well. That gave us some more momentum.”
Gavin Rogers was hit by a pitch.
Wright, who gave up a run in the third, but stymied the Falcons in the final two innings, followed with a two-run blast to left.
“I definitely like the home run more than my pitching,” he said. “It was a belt-high fastball right down the middle. Before that inning we were kind of quiet in the dugout, but after scoring eight runs we were more upbeat.”
Soddy-Daisy’s Austin Hickey drew the second of three walks in the inning and moved to second when McCoy’s pickoff throw sailed past first baseman Hardeman. Amos, the 10th Trojan to bat in the inning, also drew a walk. Stewart’s single to left scored Hickey with the eighth run.
“We’ve hit the ball pretty well all year,” Hensley said. “Tonight had guys getting on base and we got hits with guys in scoring position. And when you score a lot of runs that helps a lot.
“I really think Tre’s stealing home was as big as big a momentum boost as the home runs. But when we got four runs with two swings the other guys fed off that.”
Clift walked with one out in the third, went to second when an attempted pickoff throw was wide of the mark, to third on a wild pitch. After Rogers struck out Wright and Hickey walked and Amos delivered his two-run single to right.
The Trojans were up 10-3.
Rogers and Wright had back-to-back one-out singles in the fifth and Hickey walked to load the bases. Amos’ sacrifice fly scored Rogers. Stewart was hit by a pitch and Carter’s walk forced in Caleb Perez, who was running for Wright. Hickey scored on a wild pitch.
Lincoln County pitchers walked nine and hit two batters.
Wright (3-2) walked two and gave up a one-out single to load the bases in the fourth. He struck out Carson Taylor and Johnathan Jacks’ infield grounder turned into a force out at second to end the inning.
Pierce singled off Wright to start the fifth, but the Trojans’ right-hander got Hardiman on a pop to second, McCoy grounded out and Kerby Smith flied out to center.
“Andy was sharp most of the night and did a good job,” Hensley said. “Jamie Tricoglou, our pitching coach, does an incredible job preparing those guys.”
In the first game, Wilson Central routed Rhea County, 16-0, in another five-inning blowout.
East Hamilton won at Red Bank, 10-0, and will play Wilson Central (1 p.m.) and Cookeville (6 p.m.) on Friday at Soddy-Daisy.
Ooltewah coach Brian Hitchcox knew his Owls would be tested by Houston and he was right. Houston won easily, 20-4, at A.C. Bud Ball Field.
On Tuesday, the Germantown-based Mustangs routed Southwind, 16-0 and have won seven of their last eight games.
Lincoln County 021 00 – 3 7 4
Soddy-Daisy 082 03 – 13 9 2
McCoy, Pierce (2), Mitchell (5) and K. Smith; Wright and Clift.
Soddy-Daisy vs. Cookeville, 10:30 a.m.
East Hamilton vs. Wilson Central, 1 p.m.
Soddy-Daisy vs. Collierville, 3:30 p.m.
East Hamilton vs. Cookeville, 6 p.m.
Colliverville vs. Lincoln County, 8:30 p.m.
Halls vs. Ooltewah, 10:30 a.m.
Halls vs. Houston, 1 p.m.
White County vs. Ooltewah, 6 p.m.
At Red Bank
Cleveland vs. Lincoln County, 10:30 a.m.
Red Bank vs. Rhea County, 1 p.m.
Cleveland vs. Rhea County, 3:30 p.m.
Red Bank vs. Wilson Central, 6 p.m.
Covenant Christian vs. Central, 6 p.m.
(E-mail Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org)