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Tigers fall in district championship

DCHS Tigers

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The DeKalb County High School Tigers Baseball team advanced through the district tournament last week, going on to play for the district title in Murfreesboro. But before that, the team had to get past an old foe, Upperman. The game would end with a big win for the Tigers.
On May 6, the Tigers were once again in Baxter facing off with the Bees, a team they had beat only the day before. Upperman had to play through the loser’s bracket, getting a win that same evening against Cannon County to once again face DeKalb in the third round of the tournament.
It would be a good day for DeKalb County. Only a few miles away, at Upperman High School, the Tigerettes were winning their championship match against the Lady Bees. The Tigers were playing at the old Upperman field at Cornerstone Middle School, and at first the game looked as if it would be a battle.
Upperman took the lead in the first inning, getting four runs to DeKalb’s three. But that would turn out to be Upperman’s last gasp. The Tigers took the lead in the fourth inning with three more runs. They would nail the coffin shut in the fifth, scoring five more in what would turn out to be the final score, 11-4.
Steven Page was the winning pitcher, coming in relief for A.J. Mooneyham in the third inning. "Steven pitched real well," Head Coach Tray Slone told the Review after the game. "He allowed four hits and walked two."
On offense, Steven Jennings went 2-5 with two RBIs, while Aaron Patterson was 3-4 with two RBIs. Devin Summers was 1-4, while Luke Boss was 2-4 with two RBIs, one a two-run homer in the first inning. Sam McMillen was 2-4 with two RBIs, and not to be outdone, he hit a solo homer in the first inning right after Boss. Steven Page was 1-3, and John Roller, Jacob Washer, and Ty Curtis were each 1-4.
The victory would be sweet for the Tigers, with Coach Slone even receiving an ice bucket dunking after the game. The win propelled DeKalb to the TSSAA 8-AA District Championship game, to be held on May 8 in Murfreesboro with a tough opponent, Central Magnet. That game would not have the same outcome as DeKalb’s previous runs through the tournament.
The Tigers played hard and the game looked to be tough on both sides of the field. Central Magnet scored first, getting a run in the third inning, but DeKalb came back, tying the score in the fourth. Luck didn’t seem to be on the Tiger’s side. Twice, DeKalb was picked off while trying to steal second base. Central had some lucky breaks with errant throws, popping right back to players who turned the advantage into outs.
CM scored two more runs in the fifth, and the Tigers would not recover. The game would end with a 3-1 loss for DeKalb. Steven Jennings was the losing pitcher.
On offense, Patterson, Summers, Roller and Boss were each 1-3, while McMillen was 1-4 with an RBI. Page was 1-3, while Nick Parsley was 1-4.
"We came out and played hard," Coach Slone said after the game. "I thought Jennings pitched well, but he had to come out with a minor injury. John Roller came in and he pitched well. We played good defense for the most part. We really didn’t swing and hit the way we had in the other three district games, but I give Central Magnet credit, they have good pitching."
"We also didn’t get some breaks," Slone continued. "We had a couple of base running mistakes, and there was an overthrow at third where I sent the runner, the ball hits the fence, and bounces straight back into the third baseman’s glove. It was just a lucky shot. We just didn’t get any breaks, and made a couple of mistakes. We’re disappointed but if we play baseball Monday, we’ve got a good opportunity to continue to play."
The Tigers advance to the 4-AA Regional Tournament, taking on Signal Mountain in the first round.

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