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Three-run sixth carries 'Toppers to win over Tribe

Jeff Birchfield • May 6, 2019 at 9:33 PM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Alex Elmore continued his late-season tear and Science Hill hit up and down the lineup to defeat Dobyns-Bennett in Monday’s winners’ bracket final of the District 1-AAA baseball tournament.

Elmore hit a solo home run over the high center-field wall at Tod Houston Field to give the Hilltoppers the lead in the sixth inning. They tacked on two more runs before the inning was over and were on their way to a 6-3 win over the Indians.

The homer was Elmore’s second in a week.

“I was just trying to get the bat on the ball and it went out,” said Elmore, who finished with a home run, a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. “I didn’t know I hit it out. I thought I missed it, but it wound up going out.”

The Hilltoppers (24-11) advanced to Wednesday’s championship round. Dobyns-Bennett (22-12) will be in an elimination game on Tuesday.

TRIBE STARTS STRONG

D-B, the top seed and Big 7 Conference regular-season champion, took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Derek Thurston singled to score Jaden Alderson and Brogan Beckner came home on a Science Hill error.

The Hilltoppers came back with a run in the second on Edwards’ RBI double that plated Elmore. The Hilltoppers took the lead with two runs in the fourth before the Indians tied an inning later when Jake Timbes singled to score Thurston.

Jackson McDavid, the Tribe’s starting pitcher, had two hits and a sacrifice bunt. Alderson, the leadoff batter, reached base three times. 

“They came up with clutch hits tonight and we didn’t,” D-B coach Ryan Wagner said. “We let them off the hook in the first inning. We got two runs on the board with nobody out and had strikeout, strikeout, strikeout. You can’t do that. You have to execute. Their guys made clutch pitches and clutch hits and that’s what you have to have in a ballpark like this.”

HILLTOPPERS HIT

Science Hill was strong 1 through 9. In the middle of the lineup, Jackson Hill had two hits, a bases-loaded walk and scored a run.

Ben Edwards went 2-for-2 and reached base four times. Caleb Marmo added an RBI triple and scored a run in the decisive sixth inning.

“I could tell what he was going to throw,” Marmo said of his triple. “He threw the same sequence two times. He threw the changeup and I hit where it was pitched down the line. I was hauling to get to third. It’s hard to get a triple in this ballpark. It was a good night.”

Eight of the nine Science Hill batters reached base. Jack Torbett, in the 9-hole, had a sacrifice fly.

ON THE MOUND

Landon Slemp threw the first four innings for the Hilltoppers. Garrett Gleason came on in the fifth and earned his second tournament win. Andrew Miller came in the sixth inning for the save.

Jackson McDavid went 5 2/3 innings and took the loss. Sebastian Fugate relieved him before Alderson closed it out.

“Our hitters had a really good approach because McDavid is a great pitcher,” Science Hill coach Ryan Edwards said. “We were able to score some runs. I can’t say enough about Slemp getting out of the first inning after the first four batters reached. That game could have gotten way. He settled in and pitched a great game.

“Gleason came in with runners on first and second with nobody out and the game could have gotten away again. Then Andrew Miller did what he’s done all year.”

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