By Brian DeGruchy
FRANKLIN, Tenn. – In a hard-fought battle the Nashville/Brentwood Select 2018 defeated the Mason (Ohio) Monarchs, 6-1, Saturday to open the Triple Crown Baseball Big South Regional Championships 14U bracket. The Select scored three runs in the sixth inning to gain a little more wiggle room to close out the game at Jim Warren Park.
Franklin Select head coach, Ryan Victory, liked the way his team performed especially the pitching.
"I thought our boys did a really good job, starting with the pitching," he said. "When you have two guys go seven innings and only giving up one run, you will take that any day of the week.”
Victory also credited his batters for getting ahead in counts and being consistent at the plate. Select hitters forced Monarchs pitchers to allow six walks during the game, while also collecting seven hits.
Mason Monarchs’ Carter Woolfolk hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the first to score Brendan Garula, who reached base via a hit by pitch.
The Select answered with two runs in the first, and scored one in the second, and three in the sixth. Noah Christensen was the catalyst, not only at the plate but on the mound. He pitched five innings, allowing one run and went 1-for-2 at the plate with two RBI and two walks.
“Noah was great on the mound; you can’t ask any more from a starter than to go five innings and allow one run. Then to go up at the plate and have that two-RBI single,” Victory said.
Christensen credited his defense by allowing no errors through the duration of the game. “They allowed me to stand up and kept them at bay,” he said.
Christensen was not the only one to contribute, as Travis Swafford (1-for-3) collected a two-RBI single to left in the first inning, his only hit of the game, to give the Select the early lead.
“He gave me a fastball up and in, and I just took it to left center,” Swafford said.
Landen Rucker and Ryan Gregory also had base hits for Select, with Gregory scoring on a RBI single by John Pierce in the sixth.
Mason left the bases loaded in both the second and third innings.