The Red Bank baseball team mounted yet another comeback and will play again at home tonight.
The last comeback resulted in the District 6-AA championship. This one, 10-9 with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, ended District 5-AA runner-up Polk County's season.
The Lions will host 5-AA champion Sequoyah, which beat 6-AA runner-up Central 9-5 at Sequoyah. The game is scheduled to begin at 7.
"It's been a blur really since the district tournament began," Lions coach Trey Hicks said. "I think the kids are finally having fun. I told them before the game that it was keep playing or go home."
When they were down 7-2 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, he had to have a feeling the season was over, but his team trimmed the gap to three runs with two that at-bat and took the lead in the fifth, 8-7. Polk regained the lead with two in the sixth, but the Lions rallied again.
They took full advantage of six Wildcats errors.
"I knew we'd give up some runs. The errors have pretty much been the nail in our coffin," Polk coach Michael Carter said. "Once we gave up that 7-2 lead, I thought we were in trouble. We didn't walk that many, but we walked guys in the bottom of the order and you can't win games if you're walking guys and making errors."
Red Bank was able to capitalize.
"I feel like we gave it to them, but with that said, when they got behind they got tough," Carter said. "We tacked on a few and they came back and tacked on a few, and they wound up taking up a few more than we did."
Red Bank just started doing late what Polk did early.
"I think 11 of their first 22 batters put the ball in play with two-strike counts," Hicks said. "I told the guys that's what we had to do, but early on it didn't look like either one of us wanted to win."
The pitching win was the third of the postseason for Hagen Wilkey, who entered the 6-AA tournament without a victory. The junior also came up with two hits and scored two runs. Hunter Romans and Austin Price had two-RBI nights.
Matthew Hammons was Polk's leading hitter, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
• Livingston Academy 3, Notre Dame 2: The Fighting Irish fell in extra innings in the Region 4-AA semifinal as the visitors scored two runs in the fifth to tie and plated the game-winner in the eighth. Zach Swartout went 2-for-3 with two RBIs for the Irish.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...