Baseball roundup: Ayers delivers for Riverdale again

Baseball roundup: Ayers delivers for Riverdale again

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Baseball roundup: Ayers delivers for Riverdale again

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MURFREESBORO

Trevin Ayers earned a new nickname this week.

Just call the Riverdale senior shortstop Mr. May.

Ayers’ single drove in pinch runner Jordan McNeal from third in the bottom of the seventh to give Riverdale a 2-1 win over Ooltewah on Saturday night in a Class AAA baseball sectional.

The win advanced Riverdale to its second consecutive Spring Fling.

Riverale reached the Final Four last season. Riverdale will play at either Oakland High or Siegel High in the Class AAA tournament beginning Tuesday.

Ayers’ game-winning RBI was the second this week. He hit the game winner against Columbia in a 2-1, eight-inning victory on Monday in the Region 4-AAA semifinals.

“I told our coaches, ‘Whoever put Ayers in the leadoff is a genius,'” Riverdale coach Barry Messer said. “I don’t even know who did it, or when we did it.”

Ayers’ one-out single came with the bases loaded.

Brad Woodson, the Warriors’ No. 7 hitter, hit a one-out double to start the rally. Woodson stumbled as he was rounding first base, but managed to get up and get to second.

He was replaced by McNeal. Clint McCullough followed with an infield hit. McCullough appeared to be called out momentarily, before ruled safe.

“I thought we had an out there (at first),” Ooltewah coach Brian Hitchcox said. “From there, they had their No. 9 hitter up, so there is no double play situation.

“We walked the nine hole. I thought that was the only hitter in that sequence that we would want back. If we get him out, it’s runners on first and third and you can be a little more careful with Ayers.”

D.J. Watkins then walked to load the bases for Ayers who stroked reliever Zach Thompson’s pitch for a single.

“We’ve been fighting these games all year long,” Ayers said. “We just keep finding ways to win. I’m glad to be here. I’m glad to be going to state again.

“It’s the bottom of the order’s doing getting me there. I’m just trying to do my job for the team.”

Riverdale took a 1-0 lead in the third inning off starter Jackson McClain. Watkins singled and stole second. Ayers advanced him to third with a groundout before Caleb Swayze scored him on an infield hit that squirted past McClain on the right side of the field.

But Ooltewah tied it during its next at bat. MTSU signee Kevin Dupree singled off starter Collin Snider to start a string of three consecutive singles. The last one, a Chase Morissey hit, scored pinch runner Bryson Owen.

Memphis signee Trevor Sutton pitched the top of the seventh to collect the win and improve to 9-1 this season in relief of Snider.

“I was good to go four, maybe five innings if needed,” Sutton said. “I knew Collin was going to do his thing. To only have to throw one inning is great.”

MBA 6, Brentwood Acad. 2: Joe McKinney drove in two runs in the fifth as MBA won the DII-AA quarterfinal series.

Central Magnet 5, Sequoyah 3: Colt Flippo went 2 for 4 and singled in Makenzie Jackson with the go-ahead run to send Central Magnet to the Class AA tournament in its second varsity season.

FRA 3-6-10, USJ 1-7-5: FRA’s Keeling Hunter hit a two-run homer in the third game of the day in the DII-A substate series.

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