Mt. Juliet blows lead to Farragut

MURFREESBORO A five-run lead is safe against most baseball teams, but not Farragut.

The four-time defending state champions rallied with eight runs in the fourth as the Admirals beat Mt. Juliet 14-10 in a Class AAA first-round game at Siegel on Tuesday night.

“They just know how to win,” Mt. Juliet coach Mark Purvis said. “We hit a couple batters and walked a couple batters, and gave them the opportunity to get the big hit. And they took advantage of it and got it, and they got on a roll and got momentum.”

 

Mt. Juliet (38-5) plays Riverdale in an elimination game at 10 a.m. today. Farragut (35-7), which lost its top three pitchers to injuries earlier in the year, faces Arlington at 12:30 p.m.

 

The Golden Bears scored three runs in the first and two more in the second to build a 5-0 lead, but the Admirals scored 14 runs in the next four innings.

 

“I was very shocked,” said Mt. Juliet shortstop Hunter Gilbert, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. “Their hitting was just great. We hit the ball well, but they overmatched us in hitting that game.”

 

Farragut second baseman Nick Senzel, who is drawing interest from Georgia, Kentucky and Notre Dame, went 3-for-5 with a career-high six RBIs. He had a double, a triple and a home run.

 

Admirals shortstop A.J. Simcox, a Tennessee signee, went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. Tennessee commitment Cameron Strickland added three RBIs.

 

“It was crazy,” Senzel said. “I was just trying to get something going for my team. We knew we were going to hit the ball. I was just trying to keep calm because we’ve come back before.”

 

Farragut, which made four errors, built a 14-5 lead before Mt. Juliet rallied for five runs in the last two innings.

 

“I think our guys were confident that we were going to be able to score some runs,” Admirals Coach Matthew Buckner said. “We put some good at-bats together, and were able to get on base in front of those big at-bats. Our big hitters came through — Senzel, Simcox.”

Contact Chip Cirillo at ccirillo@tennessean.com.