Central Magnet's baseball team saw its season come to a most disappointing end on Wednesday at the TSAAA Spring Fling, but it hardly overshadowed what was a "terrific" season. NewsRadio WGNS' Monte Hale, Jr. has more...
The Tigers (33-7) were eliminated in the Class AA bracket, 12-0, by Lexington in five innings at Blackman High School. The Tigers, who were outscored 25-1 in two games, had the daunting task of facing All-State pitchers Ethan Elliott and Ethan Small of Knoxville Catholic and Lexington, respectively.
"It was a terrific season going 33-7," said CMS coach Jason Patterson. "Losing two games in the ways we did was tough. It was a great year, but not so good the last two games.
"It's disappointing to end like this because we felt we had a team equipped to make a long run."
After a scoreless first inning, Lexington did most if its damage in the bottom of the second when it plated 13 batters and tallied nine runs.
Meanwhile, Small, who is headed to Ole Miss, was dominant from the outset. He allowed just one infield single and struck out 10 batters in four innings before giving way to Luke Buckley, who worked a perfect fifth to close out the game.
"He threw well, and we faced two good left-handers, but two different kind," Patterson said. "We knew we would have go grind out runs, but it seemed like one mistake led to another and they had a big inning."
The Tigers made their third straight trip to the Spring Fling and first under Patterson, who replaced Buddy Powers in the offseason.
"We have a great nucleus, and we lose six really good seniors," Patterson said. "Hopefully this experience will help them. It was kind of a re-tooling year for us, but to go 33-5 and hit No. 1 in the poll for the first time, a lot of good things happened."