With the score tied 1-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Henry County baseball team kicked it in an extra gear to score five runs and put the opening-round contest against Owen County out of reach for the opposing Rebels.
The 31st District matchup, which was held at Gallatin County High School last Tuesday, saw strong pitching from Tyler Cox, solid defense and clutch hitting. It accumulated to the 6-1 win for Henry, which moved the Wildcats to the championship game and gave them an automatic berth into the 8th Region tournament.
“Cox pitched a very good game, and we played very well behind him,” Henry coach Austin Hunsaker said afterwards.
Henry got on the scoreboard first during the opening inning when Tommy Wilson smacked the ball to the right-centerfield fence for a double that scored Ben Roberts. Roberts got on by drawing a two-out walk before Wilson’s timely hit.
Owen tied the game with its lone run during the top of the third inning. Just as the rain started a steady downpour, the Rebels drilled the ball easily over the center-field fence for a solo homer to even up the scoreboard.
The Wildcats stretched out the game with a big sixth-inning bat. Taylor Boone jump started Henry’s dominate inning with a single, and was followed on base with a single from Roberts. Wilson’s hit then scored both runners, while the junior catcher later scored on a passed ball to put Henry ahead 4-1 with just one out.
Before the inning came to an end, Joey Pollard was walked, advanced to second on a passed ball, and stole third while Jordan Bryant was being walked. With base runners on the corner, Jordan sprinted for second base, Owen took the bait and went for the throw to second, allowing Pollard to sneak home. Jordan later scored on a passed ball for the final run of the game.
At the plate, for Henry, Wilson had two hits and three RBIs. Henry also saw big hits from Boone and Roberts.
The Wildcats had a solid game on the defensive side of the ball as well. Owen looked certain to score during the top of the second inning, but Pollard fielded the ball in center field, hit cutoff Tyler Cox in the infield and threw to Wilson, who tagged the base runner out on a close play at the plate to save a run.
Henry advanced to the finals Thursday night against Gallatin County, while Owen ended its season at 9-17.
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