By TOMMY BRYAN
LEBANON -- A leadoff homer from Friendship Christian's Chris Hall set the tone early as the Commanders rolled to an 11-0 victory in five innings over Monterey Monday evening in the first round of the Region 4-A baseball tournament.
Hall added a bloop double in the second inning and finished with three runs batted in as FCS won for the 17th consecutive time this season, improving to 23-7 overall. The Wildcats closed out the season 9-15.
"These Monday regional openers have always been a little issue with us," saif Friendship head coach John McNeal. "There have been times we have struggle and not played as well as we should. I thought their pitcher (Arlis Phillips) might give us a little trouble with his curve ball, but Chris started us out with a homer run that pretty much set the tone. We were able to get runs the next few innings and end it in five. We were hoping we could play a quick game and save our pitching and not push us out any more than we had to."
Right-hander Kyle Wood dominated Monterey's lineup, allowing just two hits -- singles to Isiah Walker (third inning) and Arlis Phillips (fifth) while striking out seven.
The Commanders scored three times in the second, then salted the game away with a four spot in the fourth as Tanner Martin drilled a homer off the scoreboard in right-center.
Phillips started and was tagged with the loss. He struck out four and walked four.
Friendship will travel to Gainesboro Wednesday for the Region 4-A championship game vs. Jackson County. The District 7-A champion Blue Devils eliminated Trousdale County 10-0 Monday.
Wednesday's winner will host a sectional game Friday with the loser going on the road.
MT. JULIET 1, DICKSON COUNTY 0
MT. JULIET -- A first inning run proved to be more than enough for Mt. Juliet ace Kyle Smith as the Golden Bears eliminated Dickson County 1-0 Monday night in the Region 5AAA baseball opener.
Zach Tompkins laced a clean double to score Hunter Gilbert, who had reached on a single, and from the first inning on Smith (9-1) took over. The big right-hander struck out 14 and allowed just three hits while wiggling out of a couple of jams.
"Another typical performance from Kyle," said Mt. Juliet coach Mark Purvis. "He had one or two innings where they had a chance and he shut the door on them. The others, he dominated. They (Dickson County) had a good guy on the hill, also, so it was a tough night to score."
Tompkins had a pair of doubles on the night as Mt. Juliet could scratch only four hits off Dickson County starter Joseph Teal.
Mt. Juliet (27-7) will host Rossview High Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Region 5AAA finals. Wednesday's winner will host a sectional game Friday while the loser will play on the road for a berth in the TSSAA Spring Fling.