The Tennessee Savage Elite played in the Axe Coach Pitch World Series last weekend in Crossville, Tennessee.
The Savage Elite started off against the Badgers of Dunlap, Tennessee. They opened the game with scoring 4 runs in the top of the 1st. By the 3rd inning the Savage Elite were up 12-2. Desite a rally by the Badgers the Savage Elite ent on to win the game 17-12.
The second game of pool play was against the Outlaws of Cleveland, Tennessee. The Outlaws had just come out of a barn burner of a game with Blues Baseball from Nashville, Tennessee, which ended in a 19-19 tie. Axe rules allows 7 runs per inning except in the 6th inning is unlimited runs as long as it is 7 runs or less difference in the score going into the 6th. In the top of the first the Outlaws held the Savage Elite scoreless and went on to score two runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Savage Elite would not be down long as they scored 6 in the top of the 2nd. The Savage Elite came alive as the game progressed and picked up a 20-9 win. The win secured the #1 seed going into bracket play on Sunday.
The tournament was scheduled for double elimination bracket for Sunday but weather moved in and games got pushed back a few hours to get the fields ready for play. With that happening, the tournament director had to make the decision to change the format to single elimination. Making it win or go home for all involved.
Eventually the Savage Elite returned to the diamonds with a rematch with the Outlaws. It was not even close as the Savage Elite won the rematch 14-4.
The championship game loomed next. It was the battle of the gloves as both defenses was very strong for the majority of the game. The Badgers came out in the top of the first and grabbed an early lead at 1-0 but the bats were still hot for the Savage Elite. They scored 6 in the bottom half of the inning. Badgers scored 4 in the top of the 2nd to make it 6-4. This is when the defenses locked in. The Badgers held the Savage Elite scoreless in the bottom half of the inning. Neither team scored in the 3rd or 4th inning. The Savage Elite held the Badgers scoreless in the top of the 5th and then racked up 6 runs to secure the win in the championship game.
It was an exciting end to the game. Tylan Plemons singled to start off the bottom of the 5th. Daylen Hampton hit a ball back to the pitcher and he threw to first to get Hampton out but Plemons advanced to 2nd. Tyson Edwards was next up and hit a one back up the middle to score Plemons to make it 7-4 with one out. Maddox Freeman (one of the local twins) hit a double to centerfield and Tyson Edwards advanced to 3rd. Cooper Carr hits a gapper between short and 3rd and Tyson Edwards scores and Maddox stayed put at 2nd. Carr is on 1st and M. Freeman was on 2nd with a score of 8-4. Bentley Campbell (another local kid) grounds out to first base for the 2nd out but Copper and Maddox advanced to 2nd and 3rd. Ryder Wallen (another local kid) singles to right center to score Carr and M. Freeman to make it 10-4. Only 2 runs away to secure the Axe Coach Pitch World Series Championship. A.J. Littlejohn from Knoxville was next up and hits a ground ball to short who bobbled the ball and both runners were safe at 2nd and 1st. Hayden Cansler from Sweetwater came up to bat and singled to left field to load the bases with 2 outs. The coach for Badgers calls time to come and talk to his kids about the strategy. Bentley Freeman (the other local twin) was up to bat with the game on his shoulders. Coach Jason Freeman told his son,“hit the ball to the outfield and win this thing, its your time to shine.” He said,”Dad don’t worry I got this.” The pitch was thrown and he delivered with a game winning 3 RBI triple over 3rd base to scored Ryder, AJ, and Hayden to win the World Series 13-4.
The final tournament for the 2020 Tennessee Savage Elite will be in 2 weeks when they play for the Global World Series in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Their record for the 2020 season is 38-12, 8 tournament championships that include Axe World Series Champions, USSSA East Tennessee Global State Champions, USSSA East Tennessee Fall State Champions, USSSA Fall Championship Series Champions, Grand Slam Champion of the Diamond Champions, USSSA Fall Brawl Champions, USSSA 8U March Madness Champions, and USSSA Bring the Heat Champions. They also finished runner-up in the Grand Slam Salute to the Troops, USSSA Southeast Shootout, Grand Slam Father’s Day, and Grand Slam Triple Play.