By ZACH BIRDSONG
Errors played a crucial role this week as Franklin County and Tullahoma each capitalized on their opponents’ mistakes as the Wildcats and Rebels split the regular-season series.
In Tullahoma on Tuesday, the Wildcats took advantage of a pair of early miscues by Franklin County, earning a 4-2 victory. A day later in Winchester, Tullahoma committed six errors and the Rebels went on pick up a 13-3 run-rule victory.
The Wildcats (5-5, 2-2) were next slated to take part in the Warrior Spring Classic, which opened on Friday and lasts until Saturday. Tullahoma is scheduled to take on Jackson Christian School at Blackman with first pitch at 11 a.m. on Friday. The Wildcats are then set to play a doubleheader on Saturday at Wilson Central, taking on Glenbrook South at 10 a.m. and then facing Wilson Central at 12:30 p.m.
Matthew Meadows was strong for Tullahoma on the hill on Tuesday night against Franklin County. In 6.1 innings pitched, Meadows allowed a pair of runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out nine batters.
Brandon Burns came in to get the final two outs for Tullahoma, tossing .2 of an inning. Burns allowed a hit, while striking out a batter to record the save.
The Wildcats got the scoring started on Tuesday with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. Levi Turner, David Steele and Jared TeVrucht all singled to start the inning, loading the bases. Kobe Burks came into pinch run for Steele.
Matt Marcel followed with a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed Tuner to plate Tullahoma’s first run of the contest, while Burks advanced to third base. Burks later scored on a wild pitch, making it a 2-0 contest.
Meadows helped himself out in the bottom of the third inning, plating a run for Tullahoma. Burns reached base on an error to start the inning, before stealing second and moving to third after Race Marin laid down a sacrifice bunt. Meadows followed by lining a triple into center field, plating Burns to put the Wildcats up 3-0.
Tullahoma scored its final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning after Steele opened the frame with a single to left field. Burks again came in to run for Steele, stealing second base and then moving to third base when TeVrucht laid down a sacrifice bunt. Burks soon scored on a passed ball, making the score 4-0.
Franklin County put the pressure on Tullahoma, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the seventh inning. However, Burns was able to get Caden Sons to strike out, sealing the win for the Wildcats.
A day later in Winchester, Tullahoma grabbed the early lead over Franklin County, but wasn’t able to sustain that. Marin reached base on an error and later scored when Turner lined a single into left field to put the Wildcats in front 1-0.
However, Franklin County countered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning, taking a 3-1 advantage.
Tullahoma answered back with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning to tie the contest at 3. Marcel reached base on a one-out error before Nic Barstad reached on a walk. Both Marcel and Barstad scored on a fielder’s choice later in the inning.
Those were the only runs that Tullahoma could put up the remainder of the game, as Franklin County seized control of the contest. The Rebels put up three runs in the bottom of the second inning, one in the third inning and one in the fifth before exploding for five runs in the sixth to garner the 13-3 run-rule victory.
Turner got the start for Tullahoma, but only lasted two innings on the mound. He surrendered six runs, two of which were earned, six hits and two walks.
Burns came into pitch for three innings, giving up four runs, two of which were earned, three hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Hollis Fanning pitched the final .1 of an inning for the Wildcats, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, three hits, two walks and a strikeout.