During the Rutherford County middle school baseball tournament, which saw delays in the action because of bad weather, the ending was worth the wait.
The Siegel Middle Cavaliers won their fourth Rutherford County tournament title in 12 years with a 4-3 come-from-behind victory in eight innings over Oakland Middle on May 3 at Smyrna.
In a pitching duel between Siegel’s Zac Pearson and Oakland’s JP Pennington, Oakland took a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, but the Siegel bats tied the score at three after a two-run single by Davis Miller. Pearson helped his own cause when he hit a walk-off single to score Drew Benefield to win the title for the Cavaliers in the bottom of the eighth.
“This team accomplished something that none of my other championship teams could do, and that was to go undefeated in the regular season (10-0) and in tournament play (4-0),” Siegel head coach Mike Tobitt said.
Pearson went seven strong innings on the mound, giving up only two hits, while Benefield pitched a scoreless eighth inning to seal the title for Siegel.
“Knowing we had to be beaten twice on Saturday was a huge advantage for us,” Tobitt said. “The strength of our team is our pitching staff. We go six deep in the rotation and we have confidence in all six guys to win a game.”
The Cavaliers headed into last week’s sectional tournament on a roll with an overall record of 28-3, and they have not lost since the Mt. Juliet Invitational Tournament earlier this season.
Since the school was founded back in 2002, the program has enjoyed a lot of success in a short period of time, including winning seven regular season conference titles and now four league titles. Tobitt gives all of the credit to the past and present parents, who have helped build the program from the very beginning.
“Since starting the program in 2002, players and parents have come into the program knowing what the expectations are and how the program will be managed,” Tobitt said. “We have been very fortunate to have great parents through the years.
“Each group that comes in has continued to raise money to expand and improve our facilities. We have a plan in place for everything that we do that includes fundraising, improving our facilities, summer team program and fall conditioning. Our parents have bought into the expectations for the program from 2002 to now which I consider to be the reason for our success.”
Garrett Harvey, Pearson and JR Langworthy were named to the All-Tournament team, while Matt McCurry, Benefield and Miller were named All-Conference this season.