MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – It was a tough day at the outdoor office for Boyd-Buchanan’s baseball team.
First, the Bucs lost a winner’s bracket showdown with Jackson Christian, 6-1, and then came back for an elimination battle with Goodpasture at Joe Baron Field on the Middle Tennessee Christian School campus.
Goodpasture pasted the Bucs, 13-5, and sent coach Josh Rider’s squad to a disappointing finish in the TSSAA state baseball tournament after routing Forrest, 11-1, in the opener on Tuesday.
The Bucs (29-11) fell behind 5-0, but battled back to within a run on Nathan Murrell's RBI single in the fifth inning.
Goodpasture (36-7) continued to pound away, scoring four runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh to win going away. The sixth-inning rally was highlighted by Ryan Kemp's three-run homer.
"We were right there with them and feeling good after cutting their lead to 5-4," Rider said. "We hoped to keep them down, but they started hitting again and basically put it out of reach in the sixth.
"They really hit the ball well today. Better than we’ve seen them hit before.”
The Cougars rattled three Boyd-Buchanan pitchers for 17 hits, including Carter Wiseman's 4-for-4 effort – the Cougars’ center fielder also scored twice and drove in two runs.
“Their bats really came to life tonight,” Rider said. “They earned (the win) for sure.”
The Cougars put the Bucs in bad situation with a five-run second inning off left-handed starter John Sewell.
With one out, the Cougars put together five hits and a sacrifice fly for three of the runs. After Jordan Goff struck out Wiseman launched a two-run double to left-center field.
Goodpasture added three more hits and a walk in the third, but Sewell escaped that jam.
Josh Antwine left his position behind the plate and relieved Sewell to start the fourth and managed to quiet the Cougars’ bats for two innings while the Bucs started clawing back from a 5-1 deficit.
Antwine ripped a two-run single to right-center in the fourth – both runs were unearned due to one of three errors by the Cougars’ defense.
Cade Evans started the Bucs’ fifth with a single and stole second. Nathan Murrell drove him home with a single up the middle and Boyd-Buchanan was within a run of the Cougars at 5-4.
In the top of the sixth, Goodpasture created some breathing room with a four-run run outburst, highlighted by Ryan Kemp’s three-run homer.
Jim Cardwell came on to pitch for the Bucs in the seventh and the Cougars weren’t ready to call it a night.
Cardwell was raked for three hits, including a two-run single by Alex Junior. J.R. Davis added a sacrifice fly and Cardwell uncorked his third wild pitch of the inning to push across another run.
Rider met with his players for several minutes in the outfield before heading back to the parking lot.
Players and coaches were visibly emotional following the season-ending loss.
“That’s always a tough thing to do,” Rider said, “especially when you’re talking about those three seniors – Jim Cardwell, Nathan Murrell and Garet Baker. I’ve been here four years so that’s the group I started with. They’ve been great leaders and they’re the reason we’re here.”
Goodpasture’s Jordan Goff held the Bucs to seven hits.
Goodpasture 050 004 4 – 13 17 3
Boyd-Buchanan 010 211 0 – 5 7 0
Goff and Bailey; Sewell, Antwine (3), Cardwell (7) and Antwine, Payne (3).
(E-mail Larry Fleming at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)