Much like its first two games of the District 8 Tournament, the Tullahoma 11U All-Star Team seized control with five runs in the bottom of the first inning, riding that to a 9-3 win over Columbia in the district title contest on Monday.
With the win, the Wildcats earned their seat in the Tennessee State 9- through 11-year-old Tournament. The state tournament will take place in Greeneville and opens on July 14.
Before Monday’s championship, Tullahoma previously run-ruled its two previous opponents, opening the tournament with a dominating 21-0 win over Estill Springs on Friday. The Wildcats followed that with a 12-1 win over Columbia on Saturday. Both wins came in just four innings.
On Monday night, Tullahoma set the tempo early as the first three runners reached base to load the bases in the bottom of the first inning. Alex Bobo drew a walk before Andrew Fulmer and Hunter Hogan added back-to-back singles.
Trevor Cole plated Alex with an RBI single to right field, before Joshua Rabassa drove in Fulmer to make it a 2-0 contest. Chance Anderton singled to left field, plating Hogan, before Grayson Waller hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Cole to make it a 4-0 ballgame.
Sky Richter followed with a sacrifice fly of his own, which allowed Rabassa to score, giving Tullahoma a 5-0 advantage.
Columbia cut into its deficit with a run in the top of the second inning, however, the Wildcats added a run in the bottom half of the frame, making the score 6-1. Fulmer reached base on a one-out single in the bottom of the second and scored when Cole lined a single into center field.
After Columbia scored another run in the top of the fourth, Tullahoma was there again for an answer, this time responding with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Cole and Rabassa drew a pair of two-out walks in the bottom of the fourth, before Sam Bobo lined a two-run double into center field, giving the Wildcats an 8-2 advantage.
Columbia and Tullahoma both traded runs in the fifth inning. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Andrew Zebick drew a walk for the Wildcats and Alex came into pinch run. Alex later scored on a passed ball, making the score 9-3.
On the mound, Hogan put together a strong effort for Tullahoma, tossing four innings, allowing just three runs, one earned on four hits and two walks while striking out nine batters. Rabassa pitched the final two innings for the Wildcats, striking out four hitters.
In a 21-0 beatdown of Estill Springs on Friday, Tullahoma was led by Fulmer who drove in six runs, including a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. Hogan had three RBI, while Davis Wenger, Sam and Rabassa each drove in two runs of their own. Waller and Cole each added an RBI of their own.
The Wildcats followed that with a strong 12-1 win over Columbia on Saturday. This time is was Richter who led Tullahoma with three RBI. Alex, Fulmer and Hogan each drove in two runs, while Sam had an RBI of his own.