Tharptown falls in playoff seriesPublished 2:05pm Monday, April 21, 2014
By Bart Moss
For the FCT
The Tharptown Wildcats baseball season came to a close this weekend with two losses to Athens Bible in the first round of the state playoffs.
After a split in two close battles on Friday, the series went to a third and deciding game on Saturday where Athens Bible took home the victory with a big second inning and landed a decisive blow in the seventh inning.
“It’s been a great year,” Tharptown coach Griffin Harris said.
“I hate it had to end this way for these seniors. They have been great leaders for us all year long. I hope they have set an example for these younger players to follow.”
The Tharptown Wildcats defeated Athens Bible 5-3 in game one of the three-game state playoff series.
Allen Bohannon got the win for the Wildcats striking out seven batters and giving up five hits.
Bohannon also did his part offensively scoring Riley Nolen on an RBI single in the first inning. In the second inning, Shawn Hines scored on an RBI single by Mike Rice to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.
Athens Bible tied the game in the top of the fourth inning with a two-RBI single by Drew Coates.
The Wildcats regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Tristen Smith singled in Max Nolen and Hines scored on a fielder’s choice to give Tharptown a 4-2 lead.
Tharptown would score again in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double by Hines that scored Max Nolen.
Riley Nolen pitched a one-hitter and struck out 11 batters in a 3-2 loss to Athens Bible in game two of the state playoff series. Ironically and unfortunately for Nolen and Tharptown, all three of Athens Bible’s runs came in a disastrous third inning.
With the Wildcats leading the Trojans 2-0, Athens Bible took the lead without the aid of a hit. A walk, two hit batsmen, a fielder’s choice and an error allowed Athens Bible to score three runs in the bottom of the third inning.
Tharptown had several missed opportunities in the game to take the lead and sweep the series. However, the Wildcats left nine runners on base, including four in the last two innings.
The Wildcats scored first after an RBI single by Allen Bohannon that scored Kelby Hallmark, who had reached base on a leadoff double to start the game.
Tharptown scored again in the second inning when the Wildcats loaded the bases and the Athens Bible pitcher walked in an additional run.
The Tharptown Wildcats’ hopes of advancing to the second round of the state baseball playoffs ended in a 10-2 loss to Athens Bible Saturday afternoon.
As in game two, base running miscues and fielding errors for the Wildcats became too much to overcome.
Allen Bohannon singled in Kelby Hallmark to score the game’s first run. Athens Bible would respond with four runs on three hits and an error in the top of the second inning.
The Wildcats had a runner in scoring position with one out in the top of the third. Shawn Hines ripped a ball up the middle that was nabbed out of the air on a diving stop by the Athens Bible shortstop who then doubled off the runner at second ending the inning.
Tharptown cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth when Hallmark hit a two-out double scoring Mike Rice.
Athens Bible went on to score six unanswered runs. Five of those runs came in the top of the seventh inning.