Siegel woke up its bats, and in the process kept its hopes alive for a first-place finish in the District 7-AAA baseball race.
One night after Oakland shut out the Stars, Siegel returned the favor. The Stars defeated their rival Patriots 14-0 to split the series.
“We’ve got to win out to try to win the championship, depending on what Riverdale does (today),” Siegel coach Craig Reavis said. “There were two or three things we’ve been talking about two or three weeks, and it sort of came to a head (Tuesday night). We had some guys buy in and had success.”
Riverdale (19-9, 8-3 in 7-AAA) plays at 6 p.m. today at Stewarts Creek (5-20, 0-9) in the Warriors’ final game of 7-AAA play. A Riverdale win would mean that Siegel (17-13, 7-3) or Blackman (23-5, 7-3) would have to sweep the other in their final league series to keep Riverdale from winning its third straight regular-season district title outright.
Siegel plays at Blackman at 6 p.m. Saturday in the first game of the series.
“We’ve got to win these next two games and play like we did (Tuesday),” said Siegel junior Blake Benefield, an MTSU commitment, who was 3-for-4 with three runs scored. “We had good pitching and good defense. And 18 hits would also be helpful too.”
Siegel scored 10 runs off starter Tyler Gilbert before reliever Will Hawks relieved him after 2 2⁄3 innings pitched. Hawks gave up the remaining four runs in an inning of work before Nathan Richardson got the final Siegel batter out.
The Stars scored four runs in the first off Gilbert. MTSU commitment Carson Lester singled to score courtesy runner Josh Allen, who was running for catcher Johnny Rodgers. Teammate Connor Moss then singled in Carson-Newman commitment Nick Kristinus, who had reached on Rhett Stacey’s error. Southern Illinois signee Chase Slone followed with a single to score Lester. Zach Kincaid then drove in Moss when he reached on a fielder’s choice.
Those four runs were plenty for starter Chandler Coley. The southpaw struck out out four and didn’t walk a batter in four innings of work. He threw 59 pitches in the win. Alex Ward’s double off the wall in the fourth inning was the Patriots’ lone hit.
“After watching Oakland (Monday) night, we knew that they could hit the ball,” Coley said. “Coach Reavis told me they weren’t going to give me anything. I don’t throw it very hard, so getting ahead with my offspeed (pitches) was very important.”
Oakland defeated Siegel 6-0 on Monday on 12 hits. The Stars managed just three hits in the first meeting.
While Coley worked quickly, Gilbert got behind batters frequently. And the Stars sat back and waited.
“They swung the bats well,” Oakland coach Mack Hawks said. “We got behind in counts and was limited pitch wise. They sat on fastballs and hit the ball hard.
“Tonight was their night, and (Monday) night was our night.”
Siegel scored two more runs in the second with Allen and Benefield scoring on Lester’s single. Siegel added four more runs in the third and fourth. Siegel’s first eight hitters had at least one hit against the Patriots.
Siegel 14, Oakland 0
Oakland 000 00 – 0 1 1
Siegel 424 4x – 14 18 0
Tyler Gilbert, Will Hawks (3), Nathan Richardson (4) and Sebastian Lynn. Chandler Coley and Johnny Rodgers. WP: Coley. LP: Gilbert.