Demarco Moore, Sports Writer WINCHESTER, Tenn. — The Coffee County Central High School baseball team needed to squeeze out another late-game comeback to save its season. But instead, No. 4 Franklin County held on for a 6-4 win in nine innings of the District 8-AAA tournament’s loser’s bracket semifinals.
The Rebels advance to play No. 1 Shelbyville on Wednesday night for a chance to face No. 2 Columbia in the district championship game (6:30 p.m) Tuesday’s game was knotted at four in the top of ninth until a passed ball to the backstop allowed Franklin County to score one run and also another on the throw back to home plate. The Red Raiders trailed 3-0 after the fourth inning thanks to Kayden Sons’ two-run double for the Rebels. Garrett Eldridge almost made an outstanding over-the-shoulder catch in right field, but the ball fell out of his grasp. Coffee County, however, manufactured the game-tying runs in the bottom of fifth inning. Eldridge was struck by a pitch, followed by Jacob Duncan skipping a bunt down the first-base line. Jacob Langham then drove in Eldridge on an RBI-double, which also allowed Duncan to score on the throw home. Langham scored easy on a passed ball, and the game was tied at three. Franklin County quickly retook the lead on an RBI single in the top of the sixth, but Duncan hit a slow-rolling ground ball past the pitching mound with the bases loaded, pushing across the game-tying run in the home half of the inning. A.J. Rollman — the hero in Monday’s 6-5 walk-off win over Lawrence County — almost won the game again in the bottom of the eighth inning with Garrett Eldridge in scoring position at second base. But Rollman lined out to right field to end the inning. The Red Raiders had one final chance to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. Eldridge and Noah Anderson reached base, bringing Nathanial Tate to the plate. But a routine fly ball ended the game and Coffee County’s season. Coffee County Central finishes with a record of 18-15, the most wins by its baseball program since 2011. HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Lawrence County 8, Lady Raiders 4 Lawrence County High School put together one big inning, which was enough to take down No. 1 Coffee County Central 8-4 in the winner’s bracket of the District 8-AAA tournament in Lawrenceburg. The Lady Wildcats await the winner of Coffee County Central and No. 5 Shelbyville, who will play Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Lady Raiders (21-14-1 overall) held a 2-0 lead — their only lead of the game — in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI triple by Raven Rogers and a sacrifice fly ball by Katie Rutledge. Kenzie Doss’s two-run single in the fourth inning helped Lawrence County tie the game up. Lawrence County had 14 hits for, and its bats finally got hot in the fifth inning when the Lady Wildcats scored five runs on an RBI single, an RBI double, and a two-run single that gave them a 7-2 lead. This would be all the run support needed for starting pitcher Maci Birdyshaw, who struck out six in the win and held Coffee County from rallying late in the game. NEXT GAME: vs. Shelbyville on Wednesday, May 10 (6 p.m., at Lawrence County HS) Reach Demarco Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @iam__demo