Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

FCS thumps Grace Christian

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Coach John McNeal's club will have two well-rested pitchers available Friday, lefty Caleb Snider and righty Austin Godwin. Neither have pitched so far in the tournament.

Still another option is available as ace lefty Brennan Swindoll pitched Tuesday and could throw some on two days rest.

COMMANDERS 6, GRACE CHRISTIAN 5MURFREESBORO -- Gunner Osborne's two-out single in the bottom of the seventh drove in pinch runner Jameson Sorrels from third and gave Friendship Christian a 6-5 walk-off victory over Grace Christian Wednesday afternoon in the Class A state baseball tournament at Riverdale's Jones Field.

FCS trailed most of the game as the Rams scored two unearned runs in the top of the first inning. Friendship tied the score with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, only to see Grace Christian push across three runs in the top of the fifth for a 5-2 advantage.

Down 5-2 headed into the bottom of the seventh, FCS pushed across four runs on an RBI single from Michael Hawks, a booming two-run double off the bat of Austin Godwin and Osborne's hot line drive up the middle for the winner.

The inning started with back-to-back bunt singles by Hunter Watts and Stephan Remus.

"They did those on their own," Friendship coach John McNeal said of the two perfectly placed bunts. "The third baseman was in the dirt and both of those guys can really run."

Godwin's double was his first hit of the game and tied the game, setting up Osborne's late game heroics.

"It was a fastball on the outer half," Godwin said, "I'd been struggling to stay back and it was my fourth time to see him today. I just sat back and went opposite field."

Remus went the distance for the pitching decision, scattering 10 hits and pitching out of trouble in several innings due in part to four errors by FCS defenders.

"Remus battled," McNeal said, "this was his longest outing since he got hurt in Chattanooga earlier this season. I thought he did a good job.

"The only negative from this game was out inability to make routine plays. We botched a first inning double play that allowed them to score two runs, then we had a two-out error in the fifth that led to two runs. We're better than that, and I expect us to play better defense the rest of the way."

Cale Mitchell and Osborne each had two hits for the winners while Tanner Martin ripped a double in four at bats.

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