MURFREESBORO — A two-out rally by Moore County helped the Raiders put away Fayetteville City in fifth inning of Monday night’s District 9-A elimination game. In Murfreesboro, the Raiders had the consolation-bracket game well in hand, leading 9-2, but the fourth-seeded Raiders plated three runs with two outs to stop the game thanks to the 10-run mercy rule.
***NOTE: Moore County topped Eagleville 4-0 behind an outstanding pitching effort by Ben Harvey to move to the championship game of their bracket in the 9-A tournament. The Raiders will face host Middle Tennessee Christian School at 5 p.m. Wednesday, needing to beat the Cougars twice in order to advance.
On Monday, despite facing the eighth-seeded Fayetteville Tigers — who went winless in district play this year and gave up 18 runs in a tournament-opening loss to Middle Tennessee Christian — Moore County was happy to see 12 runs on the board, especially following a 1-0 loss to Eagleville on Friday night.
The Raiders had 10 hits, including two apiece from Cole Boyce, Dakota Bateman and Gage Morrison. Morrison had a pair of doubles, while Boyce and Zach Ray each had a double of their own. Boyce was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Moore County scored first in the bottom of the first inning when James Dougherty reached on an error, took third on a single by Joshua Prater and scored on a passed ball. The Raiders seized control in the first inning as they went on to plate six more runs and build a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers struggled to get out of the first inning and errors both from the mound and behind the plate allowed Moore County to pile on runs.
Dougherty opened the floodgates when he managed to get on base thanks to the City error. After than, Prater singled; Ben Harvey singled; Dylon Smith reached on a passed ball; Chris Nix reached on a dropped third strike; and Harper Case was hit by a pitch.
By the time Boyce and Dakota Bateman singled, the Raiders were already working through the top of the lineup again, and the game was well in hand.
Ray earned the start for MCHS. He struck out 10, walked two and gave up four hits in the win.
The loss ended the season for the Tigers, while Moore County staved off elimination and earned a rematch with Eagleville, the team that sent them to the loser’s bracket after surviving Friday night’s pitchers duel.
In Friday’s game, Eagleville scored the lone run of the game in the first inning on an infield error.
Despite surrendering just two hits, Boyce was saddled with the loss. He struck out nine batters in 6 1/3 innings of work.
Moore County’s offense never found its grove against the Eagleville pitching, however. The Raiders managed just one hit — a single by Case in the third inning — and the Raiders were struck out 14 times.