Tellico Plains turned a double-play on a fly ball in the bottom of the seventh on Monday evening to end Oneida’s hopes and its season, escaping Bear Creek with a 3-2 win in the Region 2-A semifinals.
The Indians had battled to a 2-1 lead entering the final inning, but the Bears scored two runs in the top half of the seventh to take the lead. It was their first runs since the top of the first, when they jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead.
Cole Cross pitched a complete game, giving up five hits and only one earned run. Tellico Plains’ Cade Scoggins gave up eight hits and one earned run through 5.2 innings before being relieved by Ben Edwards, who pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to pick up the win.
Tellico Plains, which finished as runner-up in District 4-A, started the game with back-to-back singles, and eventually took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly before Oneida got out of the inning.
The Indians got a lead-off walk in the bottom half of the inning, but stranded a runner after a double-play by the Bears.
Oneida retired the Bears’ side in order in the top of the second, then tied the game in the bottom half, when Cross led off with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Caden Rector.
That’s the way the score stood most of the rest of the way. Oneida had a golden opportunity in the fourth, with back-to-back singles to start the frame. But Tellico Plains was able to work its way out of the jam and preserve the tie.
Oneida took the lead in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with two outs before an RBI single by Rector scored Hunter Shoemaker.
With the bases still loaded, Tellico Plains was able to get out of yet another jam with no more damage done when Edwards entered the game and recorded a strikeout.
Tellico Plains started its final at-bat with a lead-off single, then got a second base runner aboard with an error. The Bears scored on a ground-out, then took the lead with an RBI single before the Indians got out of the half-inning with a pick-off at second by Colten Daugherty on a steal attempt, and a line-out by Todd Derek Ryon.
Daugherty walked with one out in the bottom of the seventh to represent the potential tying run, but Tellico Plains turned a double play to end the game.
The Indians’ season ended at 19-6, as champions of District 3-A. It was the program’s fourth district championship in nine years.