- Knoxville News Sentinel
- Posted May 22, 2012 at 10:44 p.m.
MURFREESBORO — Taking down a defending state champion is never easy.
Four-time defending state champions are even harder to beat.
Ask the Mt. Juliet High School baseball team that discovered that Tuesday night.
Farragut, which has won the last four Class AAA state tournaments, rallied from five runs down to beat Mt. Juliet 14-10 in a first-round game at Siegel High.
The Admirals will face Arlington (30-11) at 1:30 p.m. EDT today, needing two more wins to reach a fifth consecutive championship appearance.
“There’s no quit in us,” said third-year Farragut coach Matt Buckner. “We’ll see what we can do. We’ll swing it, play it out and see how it goes.”
Farragut (35-7) trailed 5-0 in the bottom of the second inning, as Mt. Juliet (38-5) had no trouble batting against Jammer Strickland — who was making a very rare start.
Strickland, an outfielder by trade, exited in the second, and Mt. Juliet’s massive crowd was rocking.
Jordan Newby, A.J. Simcox and Nick Senzel silenced that celebration.
Newby relieved Strickland and blanked Mt. Juliet in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
The Admirals posted 12 runs in that span. Senzel had an RBI double in the third to make it 5-1. After Simcox hit a three-run triple in the fourth for a 6-5 Farragut lead, Senzel belted a two-run homer to make it 8-5.
He added a three-run triple in the fifth for a 12-5 margin.
Senzel finished a single short of the cycle. Simcox wound up 4-for-5.
“I think I was 0-for-7 (combined) the last two games,” said Senzel. “I’ve been focusing on going back side with the ball. They gave me some pitches inside to hit. They gave me some off-speed.
“I just tried to stay through the ball. I just hit the ball hard. That’s my goal, just get something started.”
The two teams combined for 31 hits. Mt. Juliet posted four runs in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Buckner inserted Simcox in for Newby to get to the final two outs.