For the past two years Rossview High has been trying to figure out a way to get over the hump to join the eight teams left standing in the Class AAA state baseball tournament.
With a group of seven seniors who have no rival in terms of career success with the Hawks’ baseball program, this spring felt like it would be Rossview’s year to finally break that door down.
But for the third straight year, a team just south of Nashville stood in the Hawks’ way as Centennial edged out Rossview 3-0 in a Class AAA sectional baseball game Saturday at Centennial High School.
“We just didn’t execute offensively and (Centennial) did,” Rossview coach Jason Rice said.
“They were really scrappy and put together a few hits with a great two-strike approach at the plate. They were also really aggressive with the hit-and-run and put balls where our defense wasn’t.”
Centennial (31-9) scored all three runs with two outs in the bottom half of the innings. Clay Stanton’s base hit ripped through the second base hole for the game’s first score in the bottom of the second as Rossview starter Kyle Anderson was looking for that third out.
The bottom of the third had a similar result. With two outs to start Centennial’s at-bat, Kyle Boseman wrapped a single up the middle for a 2-0 advantage.
“That was just tremendous patience on our hitters’ parts,” Centennial coach Rob Baughman said. “We’ve played like that all year for some reason. We’ve just got timely hitting much of the season and its really worked out for us. And this (sectional) game I thought was pitched very well on both sides.”
Anderson gave up a pair of singles in the bottom of the fifth before Rice went to reliever Taylor Mahowald. With Boseman back at the plate, one out and a runner at first, Rossview catcher Trey Martin nailed Centennial’s base runner at second for the second out. But Boseman would smack another two-out single for a RBI as the Cougars pushed the lead to 3-0 against the Hawks (27-11).
From there, Centennial’s defense did the rest. Starter Cole Evans was solid in seven innings, striking out four and allowing only four hits.
“Hat’s off to their kid on the mound,” said Rice about Evans. “He might be the best competitor we’ve seen all year. I thought he was a real special player and competed well. We were a little dumbfounded. He threw the changeup a little more often than we thought he was going to. We prepared more for the curveball and he just kept us off balance.”
Rice praised his seven seniors for helping to build a resurgent program that has won three straight District 10-AAA titles, advanced to three consecutive region title games and played in three sectional games.
“In terms of their four years here, no one has won as many games, won as many district titles and been to as many sectional games like this than they have,” Rice said. “They’ve competed every step of the way and essentially put this program back on the map.”
George Robinson. Prep writer. 245-0747. firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Facebook and Twitter @Cville_Sports.