The Soddy Daisy Trojans beat the Red Bank Lions in a non-district baseball game for the second time in two days Friday night, but Red Bank coach Trey Hicks didn't feel nearly as bad on Friday as he did following Thursday's 14-2 embarrassment.
The Trojans sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning Friday at Red Bank and scored five runs before the Lions batted for the first time.
Those five runs may have been the difference in the 10-5 final, but Hicks was feeling a whole lot better on Friday than he was some 24 hours earlier.
"This was night and day different from what we did last night, but I was really proud of our fight this late in the season," Hicks said after his team fell to 14-16 with one regular-season game left on Tuesday against Signal Mountain.
"We gave up those five runs in the first, but at least we held our own after that. I'm not a big fan of losing, but it doesn't bother me nearly as much as long as we don't quit. Last night we just went through the motions, but this was completely different team tonight.
"It could have gotten out of hand after they scored those for runs in the fourth, but we battled back and were a couple of hits away from getting back in it," Hicks added.
Soddy Daisy only had one hit in that first inning, but two hit batters, a pair of walks and a dropped third strike all helped to make it a miserable start for starting pitcher Ben Brown and his Red Bank teammates.
Andy Wright was the Soddy Daisy starting pitcher and he helped his own cause with a two-run single in the first. He put an exclamation mark on the four-run fourth with a two-run homer to left, his second round-tripper of the season.
Wright allowed a leadoff single to D.J. Hale in the first while a walk to Will Oakes in the third was the only blemish as he retired 12 of the next 13 following that first hit. He allowed a leadoff walk to Brown in the fifth before being pulled after reaching his pitch count for the game.
Soddy Daisy coach Jared Hensley was happy with the way his junior right-hander handled his duties and he was even happier with the way his team played.
"I thought we did a good job overall tonight, but we took care of business early and that was important because we wanted to get some playing time for others on our team," Hensley said.
"All in all, it was a pretty good night for us, but we knew that Red Bank would come back and battle us tonight. That game last night was unusual, but we knew that they wouldn't lay down and quit.
"I was proud of Andy Wright. He's been a consistent performer for us all season and he did a good job of throwing strikes tonight. He was on a short pitch count, so I pulled him following the walk in the fifth, but he was certainly a key for us tonight," Hensley added.
While the Trojans did most of their scoring in the first and fourth innings, a bases-loaded walk to Levi Thornton in the seventh plated the final run.
Red Bank's scoring came in the first, fifth and seventh innings.
Blake Winstead's grounder to short drove in Hale in the first while Hale had an RBI-single in the fifth ahead of a two-run single by Hunter Romans. Hale reached base with a bunt to lead off the seventh -- his third hit in four trips to the plate -- and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Soddy Daisy, now 16-14 going into next week's District 5-AAA tournament, finished with seven hits, including two each from Christian Amos and Wright.
Hale had three of Red Bank's five hits. Alex Chambers and Romans had the other two.
Wright improved to 4-2 as he allowed two runs on one hit while walking two and striking out four. Brown was the loser after giving up those five runs in the first. He issued two walks and he hit a pair while allowing one hit and striking out the side in the first.
SODDY DAISY 500 400 1 -- 10 7 1
RED BANK 100 030 1 -- 5 5 2
Wright, Blansit (5), Perez (7) and Cilft, Workman (4); Brown, Oakes (2), Winstead (5), Romans (6), Goodman (7) and Moore.
(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)