For the first time since 2005, the Mt. Juliet Bears will not finish the District 9-AAA Tournament Champions.
The Bears lost to Beech twice in the tournament to end their run.
In the tournament opener Wednesday, Curt Hoppe pitched a shutout, striking out eight in a 3-0 win over Gallatin.
All of the Bears runs came in the second inning with two outs. Marshall Gei knocked in two with a double and Zach Ehrhart scratched one across with a single.
The Bears turned a triple play in the fourth inning to get out of jam.
Mt. Juliet 3 Gallatin 0
G – 000 000 0 – 0 5 0
M – 030 000 0 – 3 5 0
W – Hoppe (6-1). L: Durham.
Saturday, the Bears had trouble getting to hard throwing righty Sam McWilliams in a 2-1 loss to Beech.
McWilliams, a Tennessee Tech signee, gave up only three hits, and struck out nine over seven innings.
Equally in control was Mt. Juliet Bear pitcher Austin Smith, who struck out five, and gave up only one RBI base hit in the top of the seventh.
The Bucs’ Brady Ballinger broke that tie with a 2-RBI single, after two got on base with walks.
Mt. Juliet threatened in the bottom of the seventh. Ehrhart was hit by a pitch, then went to second on a failed pickoff attempt. After two McWilliams’ strikeouts, Alex Houser was hit by a pitch, and Jackson Hollinshead drove in a run with a single right up the middle. That put runners at second and third with two outs, but McWilliams was able to get the final batter to ground to second and end the game.
Beech 2 Mt. Juliet 1
B – 000 000 2 – 2 6 3
M – 000 000 1 – 1 3 1
W: McWilliams. L: Smith.
The Bears stayed alive with a 4-3 win over Station Camp Monday afternoon. Eli Mason drove in a walk-off single to give the Bears a rematch with the Bucs.
However, Beech was able to eek out another win, 4-3. The Bears threatened again late, but Beech brought McWilliams out of the bullpen, and he shut the door.
Central sweeps its way to the final
The Wilson Central baseball team picked up three wins in the tournament to earn a spot against Beech in the final.
The Wildcats knocked off Portland, 7-6, then beat top seed Hendersonville twice, 8-3 and 5-2.
Central will play Beech in the finals Wednesday.