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Greenback denies UH in Region 1-A baseball final

Gene Renfro • May 15, 2019 at 9:54 PM

The University High baseball program battled, but Greenback registered a repeat of 2018.

The Bucs were beaten 4-1 by the Cherokees in Wednesday’s Region 1-A final in Jonesborough, nearly duplicating last year’s result in this spot. Greenback topped UH 3-1 for the 2018 crown, then both teams won their sectional contests to advance to the TSSAA Spring Fling.

“I said do not take this one minute past today,” University High head coach Josh Petty said about the approach to the sectional round. “Let’s get ready to go, we’re one win away from Murfreesboro. We’re going to forget about this one and move on.”

University High (25-13) will journey to Harriman, which defeated Wartburg Central 19-4 in the Region 2-A final, for Friday’s sectional round. Armed with 11 straight wins over Class A foes, Greenback (26-9) has a home game against Wartburg.

University High comeback attempt

The Bucs’ offense managed only a single base runner in the second through fifth innings. However, the last two innings produced a different result.

Mike Degennaro drew a two-out walk in the sixth before Carter Pollock doubled to left, but pitcher Bryce Hanley came on in relief to wipe out the threat.

The final inning had Jacob Pealer reach on an error and advance to second on a walk to Zach Rice.

Henry Borthwick singled in the infield to load the bases. That brought up Kaleb Meredith, who singled deep in the hole at shortstop to bring in a run.

From there, Greenback recorded the final two outs to preserve the championship. Hanley recorded the final four outs for a save.

Borthwick, Degennaro and Pollock were placed on the all-tournament squad.

Greenback cashes in

Greenback struck in the second inning as Josh Edwards was hit by a pitch, then stole second before Duke Stinnett walked. That brought up Michael Severance, who sent an RBI single through the left side of the infield to score Edwards.

Edwards was hit by another pitch to start the fourth. He stole second and a throwing error allowed him to go to third. Severance produced an RBI with a groundout to short.

The scoring continued in the inning as Austin Burger doubled down the left-field line. A ground ball to second from Cole Riddle was misplayed and Burger rounded third for the game’s third run.

In the fifth, Tyler Cullen reached on a two-base error before moving to third on Seth Riddle’s single to right. A balk was called on Brant Hare to move both runners up as Cullen scored the final run for Greenback.

“They’re a great team,” Petty said. “They throw it well. We didn’t hit the ball until the last inning. That’s the only time we had a chance to break something open there.”

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