The Wildcats played Mt. Juliet for the third time this year but this game had a little more riding on the outcome to the winner. Mt. Juliet had to beat Wilson Central twice in order to qualify for the Regionals to be played next Monday. But Wildcat Aaron Hubbell who pitched the complete game had other things on his mind. He knew if he could bring the heat for 7 innings and the Wildcats offense could back him up then the Wildcats would be Southern District 9AAA Champions and would qualify for the region tournament. Entering the top of the third inning trailing 1-0, Mt. Juliet mounted a comeback and scored 3 runs to take the 3-1 lead from the Wildcats. But as the Wildcats have done many times this season, they continued to chip away and put the pressure on the Bears. In the bottom of the third, however, that chipping away was quick as the Wildcats scored 2 runs to tie the game at 3-3. With the bases loaded and 1 out Andrew Franklin came to the plate and immediately made contact with the pitch to MJ shortstop Vestal for what appeared to be a inning ending double play ball. Mason Mobley scored from third as Vestal got the force at second. While tagging second he slipped and made a errant throw to first allowing Chase Ford to tie the game scoring from second base. Later in the inning and 2 outs, the bases were loaded for a second time as Ryan Hill came to the plate. A base hit would allow the Wildcats to take the lead however Hill went down swinging as the Bears allowed 2 runs. Hubbell continued to keep Mt. Juliet at bay scattering hits the next two innings. Still with the score tied at 3-3 bottom of the 6th Hill returned to the batters box wanting to redeem himself from the earlier strikeout. Hill redeemed himself to the tune of a double down the right field line allowing Gabe Jennings to score from first base. Hill tried to stretch the hit into a triple but was thrown out at third but not before Jennings crossed the plate for the 4-3 lead. Top of the 7th for the Bears saw the 7,8,and 9th hitters to face Hubbell. Hubbell threw 4 pitches and got 2 outs needing just one more out to claim a date for the District Title game Thursday and the Regional berth Monday. Second Baseman Will Hudson gobbled up the first grounder earlier in the inning for the first out and he did the same for the third out as the Wildcats began to cheer and celebrate their accomplishment.
Wilson Central will now play Thursday night at 7:00 against the Northern Champion Buccaneers from Beech High School Both teams have already qualified for the Regional next week. The winner of the District will play at home on Monday while the runner-up team will have to travel to the District 10AAA Champion.
CONGRATULATIONS TO HEAD COACH ANTHONY FORD AND THE WILDCATS!!!!!!