Science Hill continues to roll with leniency rule win over DB | Sports
Science Hill continues to show that it has one of the best high school baseball teams in Tennessee.
Defending state champion Hilltoppers routed Big 5 Conference rival Dobyns-Bennett 13-2 in five innings Monday night at TVA Credit Union Stadium. Over the past twelve days, Science Hill (12-1, 3-0) has beaten some of the best public school teams in the entire state.
The Hilltoppers beat Cookeville of Middle Tennessee on March 18. Over the weekend, the Hilltoppers defeated Memphis-area powerhouse Bartlett and Knoxville-area standout Farragut. Since last season, including the state playoffs, Science Hill has won 26 of its last 27 games.
After the Indians (5-4, 2-1) scored against Tanner Kilgore’s two-run brace in the top of the first, the Hilltoppers responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame. It included a three-run home run by Gavin Briggs.
It all came crashing down for the Indians in the bottom of the fourth when the ‘Toppers scored nine runs, helping to end the contest prematurely. The Dobyns-Bennett pitchers faced 15 Science Hill batters in the fourth.
“We’re maneuvering the sticks really well, not trying to overdo it,” Science Hill coach Ryan Edwards said. “We take our walks and it’s contagious with our hitters staying locked up. When you score these kinds of points, it allows your pitchers to be more comfortable throwing strikes.
“Dobyns-Bennett came out swinging, but when we came back with the four points, we felt we could handle the fastball better.”
That duty fell to Cole Torbett, the 2021 Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year. The southpaw threw eight strikeouts and earned the victory after allowing three hits and two runs. As Science Hill’s leadoff hitter, Torbett helped his cause by going 2-for-4 with a two-run triple and two runs scored.
Besides his home run, Briggs walked twice. He finished with four RBIs and two runs scored.
“He gave me my pitch and I just turned it on and connected,” Briggs said of sending the fastball high over the right field fence. “It was definitely the longest ball I’ve ever hit. We try not to let it get us down. When we get back to the dugout, we know that as a team we can hit and score points whenever we need them.
They certainly did Monday night. Cayden Torraca was 2-for-3, while Nate Conner reached base four times and scored twice. Landon Smelser and Jaxon Diamond also scored two points apiece.
Aiden Byington suffered the Dobyns-Bennett loss, allowing six hits and six earned runs. Kilgore and Isaac Hale each had doubles, while Peyton Grimm and Sam Ritz scored the Indians’ runs.
However, DB’s chances were torpedoed by nine walks, two hits and three errors.
“They’re a very good team and if you make mistakes they’re going to enjoy themselves more,” Dobyns-Bennett coach Ryan Wagner said. “You walk them, make mistakes and don’t make routine plays, it’s going to be a long day. We started well, but went south very quickly.
The Indians have a chance to avenge the loss with the second leg of the two-game series scheduled for Tuesday at J. Fred Johnson Stadium.
“I tell them all the time that you have a chance to redeem yourself,” Wagner said. “We have to be ready to leave tomorrow. No matter the score. I would have liked to compete better, but a loss is a loss.