Sports

Pearson Finishes Pentathlon in 11th Place

Sarah Pearson clears a hurdle on Monday at the TSSAA State Pentathlon

Sarah Pearson clears a hurdle on Monday at the TSSAA State Pentathlon

Finishing with personal bests in the final 2 events was not enough on Monday as Sarah Pearson opened up the TSSAA Spring Fling for Coffee County finishing in 11th place in the pentathlon. Pearson, who stepped on her right hand after landing in the high jump pit on her first jump, braved a nasty spike wound and a very competitive field to finish more than 200 points above last year’s 8th place finish.
Pearson started a little slow as she finished in 10th place in the 100M hurdles with a time 16.8 seconds which was almost ¼ of a second slower than her sectional qualifying run. In the shot put, Pearson had a toss of 26 feet, 3 ¾ inches which was 2 feet farther than her qualifying throw but still lost ground to the field as she ended that event in 11th place.

Sarah Pearson runs in the 800M run on Monday at the TSSAA State Pentathlon

Sarah Pearson runs in the 800M run on Monday at the TSSAA State Pentathlon

That set up the disastrous long jump which featured a controversy over a charged scratch by Pearson on the jump where she injured herself. After a quick bandage job by the on-site trainers, Pearson was able to complete 3 jumps but her longest jump of 14 feet 5.25 inches was more than a half foot short of her qualifying jump leaving her with too much ground to make up in the final 2 events.
In those final 2 events, Pearson summoned up her courage and competitive spirit to tie her personal best in the high jump at 5 feet and set a new personal best in the 800M run at 2:36.24 to finish in 11th place, less than 200 points off the medal stand.
After the event, we interviewed Pearson and this is what she had to say:

Pearson and Karson Young have each qualified in 3 individual events as Young will compete in the triple jump, the long jump and the 100M hurdles. Pearson qualified for the high jump, the 100M hurdles and the 300M hurdles. Diana Davis also advanced to the state meet as she qualified in the pole vault.
The Spring Fling State Track Meet is taking place all this week at MTSU’s Dean A. Hays Stadium. Diana Davis will compete in the pole vault on Wednesday at 2 PM. Pearson and Young will compete on Thursday as Young will take part in the long jump at 9 AM. Young comes back for the triple jump at 10:15 and will compete in the 100M hurdles around 3:30 PM. Pearson takes part in the high jump at 12 PM, the 100M hurdles around 3:30 PM and the 300M hurdles sometime after 4 PM.
The complete schedule can be found at: http://tssaa.org/2016-tssaa-state-track-meet-schedule/

Sounds Win Series Opener in Las Vegas

Sounds5A balanced offensive attack and six solid innings from starter Dillon Overton led the Nashville Sounds to a 7-4 win over the Las Vegas 51s Monday night at Cashman Field.

Five different players had multi-hit games for the Sounds (24-20) who ripped 14 hits to set a new season-high. Renato Nunez, Ryon Healy, Bruce Maxwell and Matt Olson all had two hits apiece and Andrew Lambo had his second three-hit game of the year.

The offense was more than enough for starter Dillon Overton who allowed just one run in six innings. He yielded five hits, issued only one walk and struck out seven on the way to his third win of the season.

Overton allowed a run in the third but by that time the Sounds had built a 3-0 lead.

Nunez wasted little time getting the road trip started with a bang. The third baseman launched a mammoth two-run homer in the top of the first inning to give the Sounds a 2-0 lead. The eighth homer of the year for Nunez plated Jed Lowrie who started the game with a sharp single to left-center.

Chad Pinder started the top of the fourth with a base hit to right field and motored all the way around to score when Healy sent a double down the left field line.

Armed with a 3-1 lead, Overton struck out the side in the fifth inning, and racked up two more strikeouts in the sixth.

The lone player in the Nashville lineup who didn’t come up with a base hit was Jaycob Brugman. However, Brugman contributed with sacrifice flies in the sixth and eighth innings to help the Sounds build the lead to 5-1.

Overton was lifted after six in favor of right-hander Eduard Santos out of the bullpen. He threw a scoreless seventh before giving way to J.B. Wendelken in the eighth.

That’s when the trouble started. The first four batters of the inning reached, and three came around to score. The three runs came on three hits, an error and a hit batter. Patrick Schuster finally put an end to the inning by getting Dilson Herrera to fly out with the bases loaded.

Olson supplied huge insurance runs when he belted his fourth homer of the season in the ninth – a two-run blast to make it 7-4. Schuster continued in the bottom of the ninth and worked around a one-out single.

Game two of the four-game series is set for Tuesday night in Las Vegas. Left-hander Eric Surkamp (1-1, 3.18) starts for the Sounds against left-hander Sean Gilmartin (4-1, 2.48) for the 51s. First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. CST.

Lady Raider Track is Ready for This Week’s Spring Fling

TSSAAChampionshipLogoThree Lady Raiders track athletes have qualified to compete at the Spring Fling state track meet this week in a total of 7 different events. This makes the 25th consecutive year that Coffee County will be represented at the state meet. Coffee County Lady Raiders Sarah Pearson, Karson Young and Diana Davis will all represent Coffee County this week in Murfreesboro.
Sarah Pearson and Karson Young have each qualified in 3 individual events as Young will compete in the triple jump, the long jump and the 100M hurdles. Pearson qualified for the high jump, the 100M hurdles and the 300M hurdles last week at the sectional. Additionally, Pearson qualified last month for the pentathlon. Diana Davis also advanced to the state meet as she qualified in the pole vault.

Lady Raider state track qualifiers (left to right) Sarah Pearson, Karson Young and Diana Davis

Lady Raider state track qualifiers (left to right) Sarah Pearson, Karson Young and Diana Davis

The Spring Fling State Track Meet will take place all this week at MTSU’s Dean Hays Stadium. Pearson will be the first competitor for Coffee County as she will compete in the pentathlon today beginning at 10:30 AM. Diana Davis will compete in the pole vault on Wednesday at 2 PM. Pearson and Young will compete on Thursday as Young will take part in the long jump at 9 AM. Young comes back for the triple jump at 10:15 and will compete in the 100M hurdles around 3:30 PM. Pearson takes part in the high jump at 12 PM, the 100M hurdles around 3:30 PM and the 300M hurdles sometime after 4 PM.
The complete can be found at: http://tssaa.org/2016-tssaa-state-track-meet-schedule/

Braves Drop Finale in Kelly’s First ’16 Start

Braves5Jerad Eickhoff reverted back to the game plan that got him in trouble his last start in Atlanta, but he faced no such problems Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

Sticking to his fastball-curve combo, Eickhoff went seven shutout innings in a Phillies’ 5-0 win to avoid a series sweep for the first time since Philadelphia lost four straight to open the season. Though the Braves claimed their second series win of the season, this shutout loss denied their bid to split a 10-game trip that also included stops in Kansas City and Pittsburgh.
Where Eickhoff was efficient, Braves starter Casey Kelly was the opposite. Called up from Triple-A to make a spot start, he hit two Phillies and threw another wild pitch to the backstop. He left after five innings having allowed three Philadelphia runs.
Two Friday night doubles had amounted to all the extra-base hits the Phillies had this series entering Sunday’s finale. But Odubel Herrera set the tone against Kelly, doubling on a liner to left-center to lead off the game. Cameron Rupp followed the next inning with a solo shot, and the Phils added a pair of three-baggers. They tripled twice in a game for the first time this season and recorded more than three extra-base hits for the eighth time in 44 games. Philadelphia hadn’t scored five runs since May 12, and Sunday marked only the ninth time this season it’s scored five or more in a game.

When the Braves promoted Kelly to make this start in place of Aaron Blair, who was optioned to Gwinnett on Wednesday, they were encouraged by groundball rate he had recently produced. But the Phillies lifted flyballs for each of the first five balls put in play and encountered little trouble against the right-hander, who hit two batters in the fourth inning and uncorked a wild pitch before exiting at the end of the fifth. Kelly’s next turn would come on Saturday, which is also the first day Blair would be eligible to return to the Majors.
Though the Braves recorded their first series win in more than a month, their bid to notch their second three-game sweep of the season ended as their offense could not compensate for the damage incurred by Kelly. Atlanta recorded a season-high three home runs during Friday night’s series opener but was limited to two runs over the final 18 innings of this three-game set.
Atlanta will enjoy an off-day on Monday and then begin a three-game series against the Brewers on Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Julio Teheran, who has posted a 1.15 ERA over his past six starts, will take the mound for the series opener against the Brewers.  Thunder Radio will bring you the broadcast of that contest on the Braves Radio Network

Winning Streak Snapped in Homestand Finale

Sounds4The Nashville Sounds fell one game short of a homestand sweep as they dropped the finale, 3-2, to the Sacramento River Cats in front of 8,230 fans Sunday afternoon at First Tennessee Park.

Making a spot start for the Sounds, right-hander Angel Castro threw five solid innings. He allowed one run on four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out three.

The lone run Castro allowed came in the first inning when the second batter of the game, Ramiro Pena, launched a solo homer to deep right field.

Castro settled in and Nashville’s offense came to life. Chad Pinder and Ryon Healy started the bottom of the fourth with a single and a double to put runners at second and third.

With one out, Rangel Ravelo drew a walk to load the bases for Jaycob Brugman who plated Pinder with a fielder’s choice to make it 1-1.

With Joey Wendle batting, Sacramento catcher George Kottaras’ throw back to the mound went over pitcher Chris Stratton. Healy broke for home and scored the go-ahead run to give the Sounds a 2-1 lead.

Ryan Doolittle took over for Castro in the sixth and surrendered the lead. With a runner at second and two outs, Jarrett Parker singled to make it 2-2, and Mac Williamson doubled to give the River Cats a 3-2 lead.

Sacramento starter Chris Stratton and three bullpen members held the lead. Stratton went six innings and picked up his fifth win of the season.

Vin Mazzaro and Braulio Lara kept the Sounds off the board in the seventh and eighth innings, and Mike Broadway worked around a one-out single by Joey Wendle to close out the ninth.

Josh Phegley went 2-for-4 and is now 4-for-8 with a walk during his Major League rehab assignment.

The Sounds depart for an eight-game road trip set to begin Monday night in Las Vegas. Left-hander Dillon Overton (2-4, 4.37) starts for Nashville against right-hander Gabriel Ynoa (5-0, 2.09) for Las Vegas. First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. CST.

Perez Stymies Phillies for Birthday Win

Atlanta_BravesWilliams Perez again shut down the Phillies on Saturday afternoon, pitching 6 1/3 shutout innings in a 2-0 victory that gave the Braves two consecutive wins for the first time since April 19.

Both starters were effective. Adam Morgan lasted six innings and allowed just one two-run inning, but that was all Atlanta needed to back up Perez’s performance.
Jeff Francoeur and Nick Markakis reached to start the fourth, and Ender Inciarte ripped a double past a diving Odubel Herrera in left-center. Erick Aybar followed with a sacrifice fly to cap the scoring for the Braves, who will have a chance to split a 10-game road trip and claim their second series sweep of the season with a win in Sunday’s finale.
“It means a lot with all these guys have been through,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “All I heard was these guys never quit. They just keep getting after it. Things aren’t going their way, but they just keep fighting every day. They’ve done every bit of that since I’ve been here.”
All the Phillies mustered against Perez 10 days ago in Atlanta was a Ryan Howard home run. But Perez limited them to even less on Saturday. Three Phillies reached base, two singles and a walk spread over three innings, and none stayed on the basepaths for more than one batter.
Perez celebrated his 25th birthday in fine fashion, retiring each of the first eight batters he faced and allowing just two hits over 6 2/3 innings. He has retired 42 of the 47 Phillies batters faced this season. His latest mastery of Philadelphia was aided by the diving grab third baseman Chase d’Arnaud made to rob Herrera of a hit and end the third inning with a runner on base.
“I’m so happy because it was my birthday,” Perez said while showing off his improved ability to speak English. “Every pitch was working.”
Inciarte’s fourth-inning RBI double stands as one of the three hits he’s recorded in six at-bats against Morgan this season. More importantly, it helped the Braves take advantage of a scoring opportunity after Francoeur and Markakis reached safely before the inning’s first out was recorded. The Braves entered Saturday having hit .230 with runners in scoring position over their past 23 games.
The Braves and Phillies scored about as many runs as can be expected from the two worst offenses in baseball on a cold and drizzly mid-May game. All the runs (two) came from Atlanta’s bats in the third inning. The Phils were shut out for only the second time in 43 games. Morgan pitched well enough to win, but Philadelphia stranded three baserunners and that was all the offense it could eke out against Perez and the Braves’ bullpen. With the two-run margin of victory, Atlanta pulled even with the Phillies for least runs scored this season, each now with an MLB-worst 137.
“It’s obvious that we haven’t been hitting the ball the way I think we’re capable of hitting,” Mackanin said. “Sure, it gets to you after a while. I don’t know if we can sustain the pace of scoring two or three runs a night.”
Herrera comes up short: It took only four innings for Herrera to lay out twice in center field. However, on both attempts, he came up just short. It resulted in a harmless single in the first, when Freddie Freeman laced a ball into right-center past a diving Herrera. David Lough backed up and Morgan retired the next batter. But the damage came in the fourth, when Herrera took an awkward route to a ball off Inciarte’s bat, resulting in him lying on the center field grass as Inciarte jogged into second and Francoeur raced home to score the Braves’ first run.
Casey Kelly will take the mound when the finale of this three-games series begins on Sunday at 12:35 p.m. CT. Kelly has been promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill the rotation spot opened when Aaron Blair was optioned to Gwinnett on Wednesday. He was acquired from the Padres in exchange for Christian Bethancourt in December. Thunder Radio will bring you the broadcast of that contest on the Braves Radio Network

Sounds Win Seventh Straight on Phegley’s Walk-Off

Sounds2Josh Phegley delivered Bruce Maxwell with the winning run on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Nashville Sounds a 4-3 win over the Sacramento River Cats in front of a sellout crowd of 10,820 Saturday night at First Tennessee Park.

With the scored tied 3-3 to start the bottom of the ninth, Maxwell drew a walk to give the Sounds a base runner. Rangel Ravelo followed with a line drive single up the middle, and Jaycob Brugman moved both runners with a sacrifice bunt.

Duke Welker issued an intentional walk to Joey Wendle to load the bases. On a 3-2 pitch, Phegley lined a base hit to left field to score Maxwell and give the Sounds (23-19) their seventh straight win.

Nashville jumped out to an early lead when Andrew Lambo singled home Phegley in the bottom of the first to make it 1-0. Phegley singled in the first at bat of his MLB rehab assignment.

Chad Pinder followed Lambo’s single with a sacrifice fly to deep right field to up the lead to 2-0.

Ravelo sparked a two-out rally in the fourth when he tripled to the gap in right-center. Brugman, making his Sounds and Triple-A debut, lined a base hit up the middle to put the lead up to 3-0.

Sacramento (16-27) battled back with a three-spot to tie the game in the fifth. Gorkys Hernandez, Ramiro Pena and Jarrett Parker all collected RBI singles in the inning.

Sounds starter Chris Smith turned in another quality performance. He allowed three runs on eight hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out four. Over the last nine games, Nashville starters are 6-0 with a 2.08 ERA.

Ryan Brasier bridged the gap between Smith and the walk-off win. The right-handed reliever tossed two scoreless innings to keep the game knotted at 3-3.

Phegley finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Ravelo went 3-for-4 in the win.

The four-game series wraps Sunday afternoon at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Zach Neal (5-1, 2.53) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Chris Stratton (4-4, 6.60) for the River Cats. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

Wisler, Freeman’s 2 HRs Lift Braves in Philly

BravesFreddie Freeman and Nick Markakis extended an unexpected power surge as they combined to record three home runs that backed Matt Wisler’s strong start and helped the Braves claim Friday night’s 7-1 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Freeman drilled a two-run shot off Aaron Nola in the third inning and added another in the ninth inning against Brett Oberholtzer to complete the seventh multi-homer game of his career and his first multi-RBI game of the season. Markakis also hit a two-run shot in the seventh inning, during which Nola was dinged for three unearned runs. The Braves have hit nine home runs over their past five games, equalling what they had totaled over the 36 games played before Monday.
“That’s good to see, Freddie getting hot, and Nick swung the bat really well tonight,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. “Matt Wisler was really good. He had a little trouble at the beginning of the ballgame, but he settled in. It’s fun watching him. He did a really good job.”
The Braves have hit nine home runs over their past five games, equaling what they had totaled over the 36 games played before Monday. On the flip side, Nola had not allowed a homer since April 16, and Freeman’s home run in the third inning was the first Nola gave up in 36 innings.
Wisler recovered from the command issues he experienced during the first inning and matched a season-high seven strikeouts while limiting the Phillies to one run over 6 2/3 innings. The Braves have now won three games during each of their past two road trips. They have gone 2-17 at home.
Each of the six homers Freeman had hit before Friday were solo shots. Markakis joined his team’s power barrage when he went the other way with a two-out, two-run homer that followed Gordon Beckham’s RBI single in the seventh inning. Markakis became the fourth Braves player to hit his first home run of the season this week.
“When you look in the room, there might not be a bunch of 20-25-home run hitters, but there’s guys in there capable of doing what we did tonight, and that’s good,” Snitker said. “I told them the other day, if you keep grinding, things will start falling our way, too. You just got to handle that adversity.”
Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco made two errors, doubling his season total. Franco was charged with his first on the first play of the game as Braves leadoff man Ender Inciarte hit a shot down the third-base line. Franco made another gaffe in the seventh inning, allowing Mallex Smith to reach on a two-base error as his throw sailed into the stands. Smith came around to score to put Atlanta ahead, 3-1. Franco was almost charged with a third error in the eighth inning after he bobbled an Erick Aybar grounder, but Aybar was called out at first after a replay review.
After surrendering Ryan Howard’s RBI groundout during a 21-pitch first inning, Wisler made some mechanical adjustments that helped him retire eight of the next nine batters he faced and pitch around a pair of singles in the fourth inning. The right-hander then retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced, exiting before the start of the eighth inning for the first time in four starts. He has posted a 1.80 ERA over these four starts.
“He’s been pitching great all season long, especially these past few starts where he’s been on top of his game,” Freeman said. “It’s been going well for him, so hopefully it keeps going well.”
Williams Perez will attempt to recreate his recent success against Philadelphia when this three-game series resumes on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. CT. Perez limited the Phillies to two hits over eight innings on May 11.  Thunder Radio will bring you the broadcast of that contest on the Braves Radio Network

Mengden Pitches Sounds to Sixth Straight Win

SoundsDaniel Mengden continued his torrid stretch and delivered seven stellar innings to lead the Nashville Sounds to a 2-1 win over the Sacramento River Cats in front of 5,492 fans Friday night at First Tennessee Park.

It’s the sixth consecutive win for the Sounds who are now three games above .500 at 22-19 and sit in first place in the American South Division. They’ve won eight of their last nine games at home.

Mengden’s last three outings have been seven inning starts. Since being promoted from Double-A Midland on May 2, he has allowed two earned runs in 27 innings. Between Midland and Nashville, he has allowed a total of four earned runs in 50 innings.

He dealt with two base runners in each of the first two innings but used three strikeouts to escape with no damage.

Nashville jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Josh Rodriguez drew a bases loaded walk against Sacramento starter Chris Heston in the second.

In the fourth, Rangel Ravelo boosted the lead to 2-0 when he launched a solo homer to left-center. It was Ravelo’s second home run of the season.

It was more than enough offense for Mengden who retired seven straight in the middle innings before Ryan Lollis started the sixth with a base hit to right field. Two batters later, Mac Williamson lined a double down the left field line that chased Lollis all the way around to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Mengden bounced back and retired the final five batters he faced after the double. He finished his night with back-to-back strikeouts to close the top of the seventh.

Patrick Schuster took over for Mengden in the eighth and delivered a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 inning to preserve the 2-1 lead.

Schuster handed over to J.B. Wendelken in the ninth and the right-hander made quick work of the River Cats. He retired the side in order and pumped a fastball past Mitch Delfino to end it.

Game three of the four-game series is set for Saturday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Chris Smith (2-5, 4.40) starts for the Sounds against left-hander Ty Blach (5-3, 3.57) for the River Cats. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

A Pair of Lady Rockets Named to All-Conference Team

Haidyn Campbell & Hallie Wimberley with their All-Conference team medals

Haidyn Campbell & Hallie Wimberley with their All-Conference team medals

The Westwood Lady Rockets softball team held their end of season banquet on Thursday night at the Coffee Café. Outgoing Head Coach Angela Houck presided over the festivities as a pair of Lady Rockets were recognized as members of the Duck River Valley Conference All- Conference team. Haidyn Campbell and Hallie Wimberley were named to the All-Conference Team as selected by the conference coaches.

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