Two losses end title streak for Farragut

MURFREESBORO  — No streak is infinitesimal.

Each has its Point A and Point B.

The Farragut High School baseball team discovered the latter on Wednesday afternoon.

The Admirals dropped games to Arlington, 7-5, and Riverdale, 5-4, to bow out of the Class AAA state tournament and end their run of four consecutive state titles.

Farragut (35-9) held a 4-0 lead on Riverdale in the night cap at Siegel High School through four innings. Had it won, it would have had to knock off Arlington twice today to reach Friday’s championship game at Middle Tennessee State.

But Riverdale (32-11) posted three runs in the bottom of the fifth off starter Chase Chambers and scored twice in the seventh off reliever A.J. Simcox, who had not given up a run all season.

“It was going to happen eventually,” said Farragut coach Matt Buckner about the streak ending. “We just came up short.

“Our guys played so hard. I’m proud of our guys. They really played hard and showed a lot of character.”

Riverdale started its half of the seventh with consecutive singles. Simcox made a fantastic put-out at third on a sacrifice bunt. But Riverdale’s Ronnie Stephens singled in a run to knot the game at 4-all.

The next batter, Drew Huff, squeeze-bunted in the runner from third to eliminate the Admirals.

Riverdale had never won a state-tournament game until Wednesday, but won against Mt. Juliet and Farragut.

Riverdale looked to be done after Chambers’ double to left field scored two runs for a 4-0 Farragut lead in the fourth.

But the Admirals could never expand that margin, leaving two runners on in the fourth and fifth. They had a runner on third with no outs in the sixth but struck out three consecutive times.

Farragut had runners on first and second base in the top of the seventh, but Riverdale turned a double play.

“My hats off to them,” said Simcox about Riverdale. “They battled us. We, as a team, we can’t let bunch hang around. That’s a great team.”

Farragut couldn’t move runners late in its first game, either. Chambers hit a bomb to the center field warning track in the bottom of the sixth against Arlington, but that popfly out stranded three runners.

The Admirals loaded the bases again in the seventh with no outs, trailing 7-5.

But Alex Schuettler, Jammer Strickland and Simcox hit consecutive fly ball outs to end the threat and the game.

Simcox, who’ll continue his playing career at the University of Tennessee, said the three state titles he helped win from 2009-11 offered no immediate consolation for the way his varsity career ended.

“It’s never fun losing,” he said. “I’m thankful for the memories I have from last year and years before that. But I’ve always wanted to go out on top and be able win that last game in a Farragut uniform.

“It hurts not to be able to.”