Bumper Reese, coach for Signal Mountain's baseball team, walks toward the dugout on Saturday at Grace Academy.Jay Bailey
An off night at the wrong point in the season led to a crushing end of a great season, Signal Mountain coach Bumper Reese said after his Eagles were crushed 12-2 by DeKalb County in a Region 4-AA baseball semifinal Monday night.
"It was one of those nights where your opponent can do no wrong and you can do nothing right," Reese said. "I preach you have to make the routine plays, and we didn't make them. They capitalized on every mistake we made. They got the hits when they needed them, the sacrifices when they needed them and the pitches and defense when they needed them."
The Eagles, coming off a 1-0 gem of a win last week to capture the District 7-AA tournament championship, committed five errors, and the normally solid pitching staff, anchored all season by Grant Hensley, was battered for 10 hits.
"We just couldn't get them out, and then we started the kicking the ball around, and you can't do that in a region game," Reese said. "There are no teams left this time of year where you can make mistakes and overcome them."
DeKalb put eight runs up in the top of the fifth and then shut the Eagles down in the bottom of the inning to secure the win.
"I think we used three pitchers and kicked it around [three errors in that one inning], and you just can't do that," Reese said of the deciding inning.
Reflecting, though, on the season, the coach waxed philosophical after putting the school's best baseball season (23-10) to bed.
"It stinks right now that we lost, but still we had a very good year, and I'm very pleased with the kids," he said.
Contact Ward Gossett at email@example.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.
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 ...