ONLINE ONLY: Late rally sends Bearcats past Carroll to regional final

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'Lucky break' gives Anderson breathing room in big inning

By John Herndon

Anderson County erupted for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on its way to a 5-1 win over Carroll County in the Eighth Region Baseball Tournament semifinals, held at Henry County High School Wednesday of last week.


The Bearcats send nine batters to the plate as they finally got to Carroll County pitcher Zakk Adams, who had limited the Bearcats to a run and one hit through five innings.

Dusty Puckett led off the Bearcat sixth with a single, then eventually scored when Brice Stockton reached on a hard ground ball up the middle. Carroll's shortstop fielded the ball but hesitated, with the throw just long enough for Puckett to reach home plate.

With the Bearcats now leading 2-1, and runners on first and third, Max Crabtree lofted a short fly to right field.

“Brett Thompson was stealing,” Anderson coach L.W. Barnes said. “Max hits a pop-up to shallow right field and Brett never sees the ball. I'm yelling 'Back!' and waving him back. He thinks I'm waving him over.

“(First base coach Rob) Ginter is screaming his head off trying to get Brett back to first. Their second baseman catches it going toward outfield, so Josh Brown makes a heads-up decision to tag. So, rather than throw to first to end the inning by doubling up Thompson, the second baseman tries to throw Josh out at the plate.

“It was a lucky break.”

Anderson capped the scoring when Mason Baker walked and eventually came home on Wesley Jorette's single.

Brown, who came on in relief of Brandon Eliadis in the sixth inning, got the win.

Carroll, making its first regional tournament appearance since 2011, finished the season at 21-13.