STORY BY MITCHELL STEPHENSON | PHOTOS BY WHITNEY JARRELD
It took extra time, but the Centennial Cougars still emerged victorious at home Saturday in a 9-8 victory over Nolensville.
The Knights opened up the 1st inning with a run by Tyler Smith. In the second inning, Centennial countered with strong base hitting of their own as they had four hits which lead to four runs and a 4-1 lead. However, the Knights pitcher Dawson Conder struck out Centennial to end the half of the inning.
The score remained 4-1 after the 4th as both pitchers were highly effective. At this point in the game Centennial’s Beaman had 9 1st pitch strikes from facing 14 batters. He had thrown 64 pitches and recorded 45 strikes. Nolensville’s Conder had 12 1st pitch strikes from facing 19 batters. He also threw 61 pitches and recorded 37 strikes.
Nolensville roared back to even the tide at four all, and then the teams got even at five. The Knights replaced Conder with Braden Sparrow in the 7th inning at pitcher to close the game. Both teams were unable to score in the seventh.
Though, extra innings willed the game in Centennial’s favor in a 9-8 final decision.
The Knights head coach Zach Hudson gave his thoughts on the game, “I thought we competed well. It was a good team. That’s why we play teams like that out of district is to be in tight games. We just didn’t make enough plays. And credit them to closing it out.”
Centennial’s head coach Rob Baughman stated, “We pitched a really good game. We had a couple of innings we didn’t play all that well. But for the most part we played defense really well. We hit the ball well. To be down a couple of runs, then take the lead, then coming back again, I’m just glad the way we compete. Our kids are figuring it out slowly but surely.”