HENDERSONVILLE The Gallatin High School baseball team wasn’t deterred by a slow start … not to this season and not to the Monday evening’s District 9-AAA Tournament contest against Wilson Central.
The Green Wave rallied from a five-run deficit, capped when senior Carlos Hernandez scored on a two-out wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 7-6 victory at Drakes Creek Park.
“It feels amazing,” Hernandez said. “There’s nothing that can compare to this. It’s an indescribable feeling.”
With the win, Gallatin (19-9) earned a spot in the Region 5-AAA Tournament for the first time since 1998 and moved into Tuesday night’s 9-AAA championship game against Mt. Juliet.
It was the team’s ninth consecutive victory and third consecutive one-run win – including a 5-4, nine-inning victory over Wilson Central – last season’s 9-AAA Tournament runner-up – in the two teams’ tournament opener last Friday.
“There’s something about these kids that wear green and gold,” Green Wave head coach Mark Wilson said. “They believe in each other and don’t give up.”
Wilson Central senior shortstop Cullen Smith hit a two-run home run in the three-run first inning and a solo shot in the third, helping to build a 6-1 lead.
Gallatin junior leadoff hitter Jordan Mason doubled and scored in the third inning, and fourth-inning singles by Mason, senior Billy Campbell and junior Andy Denning drove in runs. Junior Bailey Russell started the fourth-inning rally with a leadoff double.
Junior Austin McWhirter doubled to lead off the fifth inning, and Russell followed with a run-scoring double. Three batters later, Brady Harris’ sacrifice fly tied the game.
Hernandez drew a walk in the seventh and was at third base following Campbell’s groundout and Harris’ infield single.
“As soon as I saw it down, I was going,” Hernandez said of Wildcat junior pitcher Dawson Hamilton’s 2-2 pitch that bounced to the backstop. “I read it pretty good.”
Each team had 13 hits, with Denning producing three and Mason, Harris and Russell all finishing with two.
Campbell (5-1) picked up the win, tossing 4 and 2/3 innings of relief.
Reach Craig Harris at email@example.com or at 615-575-7138. Follow him on Twitter @HarrisGNESports.
Wilson Central 301 200 0 – 6 13 2
Gallatin 001 320 1 – 7 13 1
Tyler Higdon, Jacob Davis (4), Dawson Hamilton (5) and Peyton Hill; Brady Harris, Billy Campbell (3) and Bailey Russell. WP – Campbell (5-1). LP – Hamilton. Records: Wilson Central 22-14, Gallatin 19-9.