Tyler Phillips’ two-run eighth-inning triple scored the winning runs for Anderson County Thursday, March 21 as the Mavericks outlasted host Hardin Valley 6-4.
Phillips drove home Connor Tackett and Eli Varner to break a 4-4 tie lasting beyond the high school regulation seven innings. Tackett singled and advanced to second on Jackson Muncy’s bunt single. After Zack Webber reached on a fielder’s choice and was replaced by courtesy runner Varner, Phillips drove his triple to left-center field to plate the two go-ahead runs.
AC relief pitcher Andy Fox retired the side in the home eighth after the leadoff man scored. Third baseman Preston Seiber reached over the fence along the third base line to catch the foul pop to end the game as Fox earned the win.
The Mavs received strong pitching efforts from starter Fox and starter Cole Foust. Foust pitched five innings, allowing four runs, five hits, walking two and striking out seven. Fox tossed three innings as he held the Hawks scoreless while giving up three hits, walking none and striking out two.
Luke Lowery reached base four times via two doubles, a walk and being hit by a pitch. Foust helped his pitching cause at the plate as he accounted for two Mav runs.
Lowery opened AC’s scoring in the second with a double before Caleb Wilhoit advanced him to second with a ground out. Foust then hit a ground ball causing a Hardin Valley error as Lowery scored.
Seiber was hit by a pitch in the fourth and advanced to second on a balk. Foust then singled home Seiber for the Mavs’ second run.
Two more AC runs were plated in the fifth as Fox was hit by a pitch before Webber reached on a bunt single and was replaced by Varner. A double steal resulted in Fox scoring before Varner was plated on a ground ball error caused by Seiber.
The Hawks scored two runs apiece in the third and fifth to create the tie.
The win over Hardin Valley came on the heals of two frustrating losses to District 3-AAA foe Powell as the Panthers won 3-1 on their home field Monday, March 18 before the Mavs suffered a nine-inning 3-2 defeat the next night at Murrell Albright Field.
AC pitcher Ryan Moog and Denver Hubbard combined to strike out 12 Powell batters as each relinquished two hits apiece. Moog fanned nine batters over his seven innings while Hubbard recorded three Ks.
Powell pitcher Dillon Jacobs threw a masterpiece as he fanned 13 Mavs over eight and a third innings. He gave up three hits and walked one. Hubbard collected two of those three hits. Webber collected the other.
After Powell broke a scoreless tie in the visitors’ eighth, the Mavs came back when Webber walked, advanced to second on Varner’s sacrifice and scored the tying run via a wild pitch.
Powell scored twice in the visitors’ ninth before Foust kept the Mavs alive in bottom of the inning with two outs as he reached second on an infield error. Webber singled home Foust to cut the difference to one before a strikeout ended the game.
Monday’s 3-1 AC loss at Powell was another frustrating outing for the Mavs. Starting pitcher Muncy gave up the three runs, but only one was earned and he turned in a strong performance in a losing effort.
The Mavs were scheduled to host district foe Oak Ridge Monday before visiting the Wildcats Tuesday. AC hosts Lenoir City at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Hardin Valley at 6 p.m. Friday. The Mavs play back-to-back games against district foe Karns at home Monday, April 1 and on the Beavers’ field the next night. Both of those games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. first pitches.