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Rebels edge Sullivan East in 1-AA baseball

Douglas Fritz • Updated May 5, 2019 at 10:34 PM

When they met in the regular season two weeks ago, Sullivan South hammered Sullivan East in both games.

This time the Rebels had to fight tooth and nail for it.

Rallying for five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, South overcame a three-run deficit for a 6-5 win over the Patriots in the winners’ bracket semifinals of the District 1-AA baseball tournament at TVA Credit Union Ballpark on Sunday night.

South improved to 19-10 on the season and will play Elizabethton in the winners’ bracket final on Tuesday.

East (15-13) fell into the losers’ bracket. With Sunday’s late game, the Patriots will play again Tuesday.

Happy Valley will play Johnson County on Monday at 5 p.m. The winner of that game will play Unicoi County at 7:30.

HERE COMES THE COMEBACK

Trailing 4-1, it was getting a little late for the Rebels.

“You’re always concerned,” said South head coach Anthony Richardson. “You never know when you’re going to get going. I know we’re capable of that. We’ve had a lot of big innings this season. We’ve had more big innings than one-run innings.”

A pair of errors got the rally started and Chase Bowery made East pay with a stinging line-drive double that hugged the left field line. The hit scored two runs to make it 4-3.

Then Drew Creech authored a mammoth 400-foot triple to center field, tying the game.

“My coach looked at me and said, ‘Don’t miss it,’ “ said Creech, who also finished up on the mound to earn the save. “I was looking fastball and strike. It was, and I turned on it and hit it. It’s deep in center field, so I thought that’s not out. It’s going to hit the wall, so I can at least get a triple.”

A walk and two hit batters later, the Rebels had the lead. Another walk made it 6-4.

JUMPING AHEAD

East scored twice in the third inning on a hit batter and Dylan Bartley’s sacrifice fly. Bartley added an RBI double in the fifth to make it 3-1. Ethan Perry pushed the advantage with a sacrifice fly.

Bartley had two hits to lead the Patriots.

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