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Science Hill shuts down Seymour for Region 1-AAA title

Jeff Birchfield • Updated May 16, 2018 at 9:53 PM

SEYMOUR — Garrett Wilkins threw 12 strikeouts and Science Hill hammered three home runs in a 7-0 win at Seymour for the Region 1-AAA baseball championship on Wednesday night.

With the win, Science Hill completed a sweep of Big Seven Conference, District 1-AAA and Region 1-AAA championships. Furthermore, the Hilltoppers (34-7) will host a sectional game against Karns (30-8) on Saturday with a state tournament berth on the line.

"We'll look back at all the accomplishments at the end of the season and I do want to live in the moment some tonight," Science Hill coach Ryan Edwards said. "But, we want to set our sights on Karns and keeping this thing going."

NO RUNS IN REGIONALS

Wilkins gave up just three hits, all singles in a shutdown performance. He struck out six straight batters during one stretch between the fourth and sixth innings.

The performance came just two nights after Science Hill ace Brandon Feathers blanked Jefferson County 2-0 in the semifinal round, meaning the Hilltoppers weren't scored upon in the region tournament.

"I just felt good coming out of the gate," Wilkins said. "My off-speed pitch has been my best pitch all season and I kept throwing it for a first strike. They didn't seem to figure it out so I kept rolling with it."

BIG HITTING HILLTOPPERS

Ben Grable got Science Hill on the scoreboard with the first at-bat of the game, sending a solo home run over the right-field fence. Grable also had singles in the fifth and seventh innings, ending 3-for-4 with two RBIs, two stolen bases and two runs scored.

"I had a stretch in the district tournament where I was swinging the bat as bad as I have all season," Grable said. "But, you've just got to stick with it. I just look to get on base and score. It's a good asset to my game and I look to take advantage of it."

Grable's home run was one of five extra-base hits for the Hilltoppers.

Chance Hall had a two-run home run in the seventh inning and Matthew Levi followed with a solo shot to blow the game open.

Zach Copenhaver started off the fifth inning with a stand-up double and two costly errors by the Eagles resulted in a pair of Science Hill runs. Grable had a RBI single and Cade McCoy's fly ball to left field was dropped, leading to Caleb Marmo scoring a run for a 3-0 lead.

Likewise, David Bryant hit an RBI double in the seventh to score Grable and get the big inning started for the Hilltoppers.

"For Ben Grable to start off the game with the home run was huge, even though we didn't score a while after that," Edwards said. "Having that lead, even if it's just one run, it's huge in these big games. Of course, he drove in the run later and had three hits. Then, Chance's home run put it out of reach and that was big."

PITCHERS' DUEL

It was a pitchers' duel for much of the game with the Hilltoppers holding just the 1-0 lead. Seymour starter Dylan Dicket threw nine strikeouts and gave up three runs and five hits over 6 1/3 innings.

The Eagles (22-13) will go on the road Friday night to face Farragut (34-7) in the sectional round.

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