The state tournament didn’t quite end how the Tullahoma 10U Little League Team had envisioned it, but the locals finished as the state runner-up this year, after suffering a 20-2 loss to Goodlettsville in the title game in Greenville on Thursday morning.
In order to get to the state championship game, Tullahoma had to pull off a comeback win on Wednesday. After trailing 3-1 entering the bottom of the third inning, the Wildcats rallied and plated four more runs, holding on for the 5-3 victory over Johnson City.
That win allowed Tullahoma to secure its spot in the state title game. Prior to taking on Johnson City, the Wildcats had been bounced to the loser’s bracket, after being no-hit by Goodlettsville on Tuesday.
During that game, Tullahoma managed to get one base runner aboard, which came via a walk. Brodie Howard was the lone player to get aboard for Tullahoma, as Goodlettsville won 10-0 in five-innings.
Following that loss, it took until the bottom of the third inning for Tullahoma to get a hit against Johnson City. After trailing 3-1, the Wildcats cut into its deficit with a run in the third. Parke Fulks drove in Elijah Alexander with a base hit into right field, cutting the score to 3-2.
Tullahoma followed that by taking the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Alexander was hit by the pitch with the bases loaded, allowing Jayson Mines to score. In the next at-bat, Connor Parker hit a sacrifice fly, plating Jonas Roper, giving Tullahoma a 4-3 edge.
On the very next pitch, Fulks extended the Wildcats’ lead, lining a single into center field. Whit Pless was able to score on the same play, giving Tullahoma a 5-3 edge.
Howard got the start for the Wildcats on the mound, tossing three innings. He allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on a hit and six walks, while striking out four batters.
Alexander threw the final two innings for Tullahoma. He allowed just a hit, while striking out four batters, helping seal the victory for the Wildcats.
Against Goodlettsville in the state title game on Thursday, Tullahoma found itself in an early hole, trailing 1-0 after the top of the first inning. However, the Wildcats answered back for a run in the bottom half of the frame, after JP Damron reached on an error, allowing Parker to score.
Goodlettsville dominated the remainder of the contest, plating six runs in the top of the second inning, before plating 13 in the third inning, taking a commanding 20-1 advantage. Tullahoma added one more score in the bottom of the third, but that’s where the game ended, as Goodlettsville won by run-rule.
Tullahoma collected two hits in the loss. Fulks and Beaux Saunders each had a hit for the Wildcats.
Before taking its lump on Tuesday, Tullahoma had opened its state tournament with a pair of wins. The Wildcats first dominated Lexington 12-2 in five innings on June 6, before following that with a 12-7 comeback victory over Morristown on June 7.
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning on June 6, Tullahoma scattered 12 runs across the next five innings, capturing the run-rule victory against Lexington.
As a team, the Wildcats collected 13 hits in the first-round victory on Saturday. Parker led the day for Tullahoma with three hits in his three at-bats, including driving in three runs.
Fulks and Roper each had two hits as well for Tullahoma. Damron had two RBI for the Wildcats, while Patrick Riddle and Fulks each had one.
Tullahoma also got solid pitching as well, limiting Lexington to three hits on the day. Howard got the start for the Wildcats, tossing two innings and surrendering two unearned runs on two hits and five walks, while striking out four batters.
Saunders came in and tossed 1.1 innings for Tullahoma. He allowed just a hit, while striking out four batters.
Alexander pitched the final 1.2 innings for the Wildcats. He did not allow a hit and struck out a batter, as Tullahoma secured the victory.
On June 7, Tullahoma needed to a comeback to get a victory over Morristown. After trailing 5-1 in the top of the third inning, the Wildcats plated 11-straight runs, taking control of the contest, notching the 12-7 victory.
Saunders led Tullahoma’s offense that collected 11 hits in the victory, picking up three singles in his four at-bats. Alexander, Parker and Fulks each had two hits the victory.
Parker and Howard each drove in two runs for the Wildcats in the win. Roper, Fulks and Saunders each had an RBI as well for Tullahoma.
Fulks made the start for Tullahoma on the hill, only getting an out. Fulks allowed a run on one hit and a walk, during his appearance.
Alexander came in to pitch the next two innings for the Wildcats. He allowed four runs, three of which were earned, on four hits, while striking out two batters.
Saunders tossed 3.1 innings for the Wildcats, allowing two runs on four hits, while also allowing two walks.
Parker came in to get the final out for the Wildcats, throwing just one pitch, as Tullahoma secured the victory.