After trailing 7-1 entering the top of the fifth inning, a six-run rally wasn’t enough for Tullahoma in its home opener on Tuesday, as Lebanon tacked on three more scores in the sixth, going on to capture a 10-7 victory.
The Wildcats had trailed for the majority of the contest, but evened the game at 7 with their scoring outburst in the bottom of the fifth inning. After capitalizing on mistakes by the Blue Devils, Levi Turner delivered a bomb for Tullahoma, smacking a two-run home run to right field, tying the score at 7.
However, Lebanon regained control of the contest in the top of the sixth inning, this time for good. Mark McDearmon led off the inning with a base hit, before Luke Bradshaw reached on an intentional walk.
Ty Bailey drove in both runners with a double into left field, giving the Blue Devils a 9-7 advantage. Tyler Wiggins followed with a line-drive single into center field that plated Bailey for the game’s final run.
Lebanon put Tullahoma in an early hole, plating three runs in the top of the first inning. However, the Wildcats answered with a score, to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Jared TeVrucht reached base on a walk to start the bottom of the first inning, and later scored when Levi Langham lined a single into center field.
Lebanon took control of the matchup, spreading four runs across the next four innings, taking a 7-1 advantage into the bottom of the fifth. That’s when Tullahoma batted around, capitalizing on mistakes to even the score at 7.
Landon Carey singled to start the inning, before TeVrucht walked and Race Marin followed with a base hit to load the bases. Langham reached base on an error that allowed Carey to race home, cutting the score. Cam Hargrove then hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored TeVrucht, making the score 7-3.
Tommy McCullough reached base on an error that kept the bases loaded. Colton Tucker grounded into a fielder’s choice, but reached on an error on the same play, which then allowed Marin and Langham to score, cutting the Wildcats’ deficit to 7-5.
Turner quickly evened the score with a no-doubt home run to right field, evening the score at 7.
Brady Chappell got the start for Lebanon, tossing four-plus innings for the Blue Devils. Chappell surrendered four runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out six batters.
Ryan Toperowski came in for relief for the Blue Devils, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk in 1.2 innings pitched. Despite the short time on the hill, Toperowski received the win for the Lebanon.
Jake Jewell pitched the final 1.1 innings for the Blue Devils, allowing a single while striking out two batters.
William Zebick got the start for Tullahoma on the mound, tossing three innings. Zebick allowed six runs off of three hits and three walks, while striking out two batters.
Brice Fulcher came in for relief, tossing three innings for the Wildcats. In his three innings pitched, Fulcher surrendered four runs on six hits and a pair of walks while striking out four batters.
Grant King pitched the final inning for Tullahoma, retiring all three batters he faced in order, including striking out a hitter.
The Wildcats (1-1) were scheduled to head to Oakland on Thursday, however, due to press time, the result of that contest was unavailable. Tullahoma is slated to travel to Blackman on Friday for a 6:30 p.m. matchup, before heading to Smyrna on Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest.
Tullahoma is scheduled to open District 8-AAA play on Tuesday with a series against Shelbyville. The Wildcats are slated to host the Golden Eagles on Tuesday, before heading to Shelbyville on Wednesday. First pitch on both days will be at 6 p.m.