Both Riverdale and Central Magnet baseball teams hoped to stay alive in their respective brackets during the 2014 TSSAA Spring Fling on Wednesday.
Each of the squads had to play two games in the double elimination tournament, and both accomplish their goal by surviving and advancing to Thursday.
Riverdale won 3-1 over Cookeville in the Class AAA loser’s bracket at Siegel, while CMS fell to CAK 5-0 in the Class AA winner bracket at Blackman. Both teams had to play Wednesday night in the loser’s bracket. The Warriors had a rematch against Ravenwood, while the Tigers faced Spring Hill. Both teams needed to win to advance to tomorrow’s bracket final.
CMS did its part, winning 2-1 over Spring Hill, thanks to a base hit by Josh Green that scored Alex Ropp in the sixth inning that broke the 1-1 tie. Will Norfleet picked up the win for the Tigers. On Thursday, the Tiger will have to beat CAK twice to advance to Friday’s Class AA title game at MTSU.
Riverdale squandered a 7-1 lead in the top of the seventh by giving up six runs against Ravenwood,but Warriors DH Weston Shaver hit a ground ball off the Ravenwood third baseman thatscored Brady Puckett from third and gave the Warriors and 8-7 win in the bottom of the seventh.
“I just went up there with a lot of confidence, and my teammates set me up,” Shaver said. “We worked together as a team and it turned into a good day.”
Riverdale head coach Barry Messer added: “That is big for him stepping in there, and I told him the infield was going to be in. I told him to hit the ball in the center and do not worry about were it was going to go.”
The Warriors were looking for some payback against the Raptors, who defeated them 10-1 in Tuesday's ’s opening game of the tournament at Siegel. Riverdale got on the board first in the bottom of the opening inning when shortstop Andrew Huff hit a deep double to center to lead off, and he later scored on a double by left fielder Kaleb Swayze to the make the score 1-0.
Riverdale added two more runs in the bottom of the second when third baseman Brad Woodson reached on a dropped third strike and later scored on a wild pitch. Huff singled to left to bring Shaver to give the Warriors a 3-0 advantage after two innings.
The Raptors answered in the top of the third when second baseman Hagan Severance crushed a Dylan King pitch over the lef- field wall to cut to 3-1.
Riverdale added a run in the bottom of the fifth when Huff singled, stole second and moved to third on an error by Ravenwood. First baseman Brady Puckett singled to left to bring home Huff and made the score 4-1 in favor of the Warriors.
Ravenwood had the bases loaded in the top of the sixth with a chance to take the lead, but Huff came in relief to strike out Tyler Craig on a 3-2 count to end the threat and keep the Warriors ahead.
The Warriors took advantage of the situation and added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Right fielder Clint McCullough singled to right scoring Woodson, and catcher Garrett League hit a bunt single to score Shaver. McCullogh scored on a fielder’s choice by center fielder Jordan McNeal to put Riverdale ahead 7-1.
Ravenwood mounted a dramatic comeback in the top of the seventh, but the Warriors tallied the run in the bottom half of the inning to pull out the win.
Riverdale plays Farragut on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Siegel, while CMS faces CAK at 2 p.m. at Blackman. Both teams have to win twice to advance to Friday’s title game at MTSU.