Davidson Academy’s run through the Division II-A state baseball tournament was interrupted by momentum Wednesday evening.
Specifically, it was the momentum of a suddenly surging Tipton-Rosemark Academy, which eliminated the Bears with a 4-3 victory at Ken Dugan Field in the losers bracket final.
Tipton-Rosemark, which is just 13-23 on the season, now advances to MTSU where it will face Southern Baptist Educational Center in the championship round.
Davidson Academy finished its season 30-10 with the one-run loss, one step short of where it ended last season as the state runner-up.
“We played these guys in sub-state last year and we knew they played with a lot of emotion, and they’ve been playing with a lot of emotion in this tournament, and they’ve obviously been very hot,” Davidson Academy coach Jim Carter said. “We knew that going in, so it wasn’t like that surprised us.”
The Rebels got all the help they needed from freshman pitcher J.T. Moody, pitching in his first varsity game of the season, according to Coach Brad Smith.
Moody surrendered six hits and two runs in going the distance, but also had a two-run fourth-inning single that gave the Rebels a 4-2 lead.
Sophomore Jonathan Allison went the distance for the Bears in taking the loss.
Carter blamed the defeat on the Bears not having good at-bats and making mistakes on the base paths by missing signs.
“We had very poor at-bats all day. We made poor decisions on the bases and missed signs throughout the day. We just did not play a good physical or mental game, and when you get to this point in the season, every team is dangerous and every team is capable, no matter what their record is,” Carter said.
Davidson Academy took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Ryan Goad opened the game with a hit and scored on a single by Spencer Goodwin.
Tipton-Rosemark answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning before DA tied the game in the second as Ryan Johnson singled home Spencer Harp.
Smith said the Rebels’ record, which included a 10-game losing streak, is a bit misleading given that Tipton-Rosemark played tough competition outside its region this season.
“We had a good summer last summer, and I threw our kids to the wolves. The schedule we played in the Shelby County area, I got in some tournaments that our baseball program hadn’t been able to get into, and we played with some guys on paper that we can’t compete with, and I challenged my kids to go out there and fight and compete,” Smith said.
It paid off on Wednesday for Tipton-Rosemark.