The game had been suspended after five frames Saturday afternoon because of torrential rains with the fourth-seeded Vikings — playing as visitor against the top-seeded Indians — batting to start the sixth inning of a 4-4 game.
The Indians, suddenly down 5-4 after allowing the go-ahead score in the top of the sixth, claimed victory with two runs in the bottom of the seventh Sunday.
Jackson McDavid scored the winning run from third base on Cade Maupin’s two-out, sinking, slicing liner that could not be corralled by charging Vikings outfielder Peyton Fox, who helplessly saw the ball glance off his glove's webbing at knee level.
"It was a tough situation, all the rain and then the umpires getting together three or four times to make a decision (on a controversial, seventh-inning play)," Indians coach Ryan Wagner said. "Fortunately, Cade hit a line drive to win it."
The Tribe (22-11) plays second-seeded Science Hill on Monday at 5 p.m., prior to the 7:30 elimination game between Tennessee High (23-10) and Daniel Boone.
"This is big because now one win gets you to region instead of needing two," Wagner said. "We've still got to win one, yes, but this is huge."
THE DECISIVE MOMENT
With McDavid at third and two out, Maupin smacked a 1-0 offering from sophomore pitcher Mason Johns to semi-shallow right field, where Fox simply could not make the play as he raced toward the foul line.
"I was just looking to put it in play, make them make a play to get me out," said Maupin, a junior. "I was able to put it to where their guy couldn't get to it."
Tennessee High coach Preston Roberts offered no alibis.
"That's one of the most difficult plays for an outfielder," Roberts said. "Their kid put a good barrel on the ball and it didn't get 10 feet off the ground. It sliced away from my right fielder down the line — a very, very difficult play to make."
After the Vikings took their 5-4 lead on a two-out single by Gavin Cross — who also hit a three-run home run Saturday — D-B loaded the bases with no outs on a Derek Thurston single, a walk to Aaron Farley and McDavid’s bunt single.
Jake Timbes followed with a soft liner to shallow left-center that Tennessee High’s Reece Proffitt managed to spear with a sterling, diving catch. The left fielder immediately threw to third base in an attempt to double up a runner he thought had failed to tag up, but his throw bounced over the Vikings’ dugout.
After at least two umpire conferences and arguments from both coaches, the officials eventually declared that Thurston's run from third had tied the game and the courtesy runner at second was who had failed to tag up, thus resulting a game-tying double play.
Maupin settled it two pitches later with his clutch stick that scored McDavid, who had been awarded two bases (to third) on Proffitt's overthrow.
Sophomore Gage Hensley picked up the win, tossing a perfect top of the seventh after Timbes had surrendered a run in the sixth.
Thurston had three of D-B's 10 hits, including a two-run homer Saturday.