The Dierks Outlaws secured their spot atop the District 7-2A West standings, Friday night, after holding off the Murfreesboro Rattlers for a 7-2 win.
The win preserved the Outlaws’ perfect conference record (5-0, 12-5 overall) and dropped the Rattlers into second place with a 4-1, 9-7 record.
Dierks was scheduled to wrap up conference play Monday against Foreman but the game was rained out and has been tentatively reset for Saturday at Dierks. The weather will also force the Rattlers to reschedule with Mineral Springs and Tuesday’s rescheduled conference game with Spring Hill has been reset for this Thursday at 6 p.m. at Henderson State University.
Both teams plan to end the regular season with non-conference games before the district tournament opens at Dierks on April 28.
Friday’s game started as a pitching duel between Outlaw freshman Zane Cox and Rattler senior Tyler Gilbert. The two pitchers kept the game scoreless until the bottom of the second inning when the Outlaws broke the 0-0 tie.
With one out, Jacob Sharp drew a walk and then stole second and third bases. Sharp scored when Blayn Turner drew a walk on a pitch that got by Rattler catcher Chris Odom. The 1-0 score stood until the top of the third inning.
The Rattlers worked in 2 runs in their half of the third, started by consecutive one-out walks by Daniel Myers and Ryan Roberts. Odom moved the runners up with a groundout to set the plate for Adam Bailey, who singled Myers home. Roberts scored on the throw to put Murfreesboro up, 2-1.
After giving up a walk and a single in the bottom of the third, Gilbert struck out three Outlaws. Dierks’ Cox responded by also pitching around a walk and a single in the top of the fourth inning.
Caleb Adams got the Outlaws’ half of the inning rolling with a single and was replaced on the base paths by courtesy runner Bradley Lowery. Lowery stole second base before being advanced to third on a misplayed bunt off the bat of Colton Strode. The two Outlaw runners are credited with stealing home to give Dierks a 3-2 lead.
A switch in the game’s momentum was apparent at the close of the inning during which some Rattler players openly questioned calls on the field and threw equipment. The Outlaws seized on the switch and took control of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tyler Kesterson got aboard a single and scored when Cale Adams ripped a one-out double to left field. A grounder by Sharp moved Adams over to third and he later scored to put the Outlaws up, 5-2.
The Rattlers collected a single from Logan Wilcher to start the top of the sixth inning but he was thrown out at second when a bloop single from Jack Stuard dropped in right field. Designated hitter Dalton Cherry was hit by a pitch and a single from Myers loaded the bases but Cox got a groundout and a strike out to end the inning.
The Outlaws’ final runs of the game came in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cox reached on a Rattler error and was advanced to second by a Woodruff groundout. Kesterson reached on a walk and he and Cox advanced with stolen bases. Caleb Adams also drew a walk and Kesterson and Cox are credited with stealing home to set the score at 7-2.
The Outlaws and Rattlers both had 6 hits. Dierks left 8 runners on bases while the Rattlers stranded 11. The Rattlers had 3 errors in the field and the Outlaws had 1 error in the field.
Cox got the win on the mound for the Outlaws. He threw 122 pitches, struck out 6 and allowed 7 walks and 2 earned runs. Gilbert was tagged with the loss. He threw 141 pitches, struck out 14, walked 8 and allowed 5 earned runs.
Dierks’ hitters included Woodruff, Caleb Adams and Strode with 1 hit each. Kesterson had 2 hits and Cale Adams had 1 hit and 1 RBI.
Murfreesboro hitters included Wilcher with 2 hits and Bailey with 1 hit and 1 RBI. Stuard, Myers and Snyder each had 1 hit.
The Murfreesboro Lady Rattlers avenged the loss by their counterparts Friday and secured the third spot on the District 7-2A West standings with a 10-5 win over the Dierks Lady Outlaws.
The Lady Rattlers used 14 hits to get by their conference rivals in a win that positioned the Lady Outlaws in the fourth spot in the conference standings.
Murfreesboro was led at the plate by Hannah Kuykendall, who had 3 hits and 4 RBIs. Brady Hignight followed with 2 hits and 2 RBIs while Hannah Cox added 2 hits and 1 RBI and Katlyne Smith posted 3 hits. Aspen Harris added to the hit total with 3 hits and Morgan White had 1 hit.
Cox went the distance on the mound for the Lady Rattlers. She gave up 9 Lady Outlaw hits, struck out 3 and allowed 1 base on balls and 2 earned runs.
Delaney Eckert got the start at pitcher for the Lady Outlaws and gave up 5 hits and 7 runs, struck out 2 and allowed 2 walks and 5 earned runs. Lexi Simmons came on in relief and gave up 9 hits and 3 runs, struck out 1 and allowed 3 earned runs.
Dierks’ hitters included Blair Garner with 3 hits and 2 RBIs and Miranda Mack picked up 1 RBI on 1 hit. Madison Burgess and Melanie Kesterson each had 2 hits and Eckert had 1 hit.
Friday’s game opened with an even first inning with each team scoring a single run. The Lady Rattlers increased their lead in the third inning with 6 runs while holding Dierks to 1 run. Murfreesboro put 3 more runs across in the top of the fourth inning to put the game out of reach.