SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. — Once the game ended, and a wide smile revealed a mouthful of metal braces, Tyler Reed looked like every bit the baby-faced freshman he is. His performance on the mound, however, was the stuff of a much older player.
Reed threw the first no-hitter of his career, at any level, in helping South Pittsburg wrap up its second straight District 6-A baseball championship with a 5-0 win over Whitwell Tuesday night. The left-hander struck out seven and improved to 5-1 on the season.
"I knew around the fourth inning what was going on," Reed said. "I was getting a little nervous and just hoping if I kept it down that my defense would keep making plays behind me.
"Getting the early lead really helped my confidence, and to get my first no-hitter in the district championship feels wonderful."
South Pittsburg will host District 5 runner-up Silverdale Baptist in the Region 3 semifinals Monday.
The Pirates (28-7) scored a run in the second and added two in the third when Matt Allen walked and scored on Josh Thomas' triple and Thomas came home on Cam Moss's sacrifice fly. Allen scored again in the fifth on Jake Stone's sacrifice.
It was the Pirates' 28th consecutive win against 6-A opponents dating back to last season and gave them back-to-back district titles for the first time in more than 10 years. Through 19 innings in the district tournament, South Pittsburg allowed just two hits and no runs.
"We had to manufacture a few runs because we just weren't hitting it like we have been," Pirates coach Wesley Stone said. "Everybody knows about our two senior pitchers [Allen and district MVP Jacob Toney], but Tyler established himself as our solid No. 3 guy early on. He keeps the ball down and throws strikes, and that makes him tough."
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...