Led by Devin Brown’s five-RBI day, Smiths Station defeated Thompson 3-2 and 11-4 to win the Class 7A state championship, the first in program history.
Brown went 3-for-4 with four RBIs in the series-clinching win, including a three-run triple in the sixth inning to break the game open.
“I’ve been struggling. My teammates stepped up earlier in the playoffs and helped me out, so I felt like it was my time to step up and help them out. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Brown said. “It was amazing, especially since it’s never been done before. My whole family grew up in Smiths Station, and none of them ever got the shot to do it. It was awesome.”
Four runs in the fourth, and seven runs in the sixth inning gave the Panthers a commanding lead.
“This has been an unbelievable run. It’s taken a little of everything for it to happen, to lights going off last week, to big home runs, to the guys coming together and playing their tail off today, and I’m proud of the way they came together. They’ve worked hard all year long for this,” Smiths Station coach Mike Ferry said.
Brown was named MVP, going 5-for-7 with five RBIs in the two games. Blake Rivera earned the Game 2 win, striking out seven batters in seven innings. Max Newton got the win in Game 1.
In a game held up by a one-hour, 20-minute rain delay, the Panthers scored all three of their runs in the first inning of Game 1, and held off a Thompson run.
The Panthers scored three runs in the first inning. Caleb Lynn’s RBI single got things started, and Brown added a two-run single.
“It wasn’t for my defense, I wouldn’t have been effective at all,” Newton said. “Because my job isn’t to blow by them, my job is to make the defense work, and that’s what they did for me tonight.”