As The COVID 19 restrictions ease baseball has returned. This weekend an all start team made up of young athletes from LaFollette all the way to Chattanooga reunited to play in the Maryville “Bring The Heat” Tournament.
Day one was pool play for the teams. The Savage Elite started off with a team known as the Knoxville Smokies, a Lenoir City based team that had some players with quite the athletic pedigree. University of Tennessee National Championship winning quarterback Tee Martin and former UT linebacker Kevin Simon had sons on the team. Unfortunately for the Savage Elite they started out cold in this opening game. They gave up ten runs in the opening two innings to the Smokies. By the fourth inning the Savage Elite found their footing and started to score. It was not quite enough as they fell to the Smokies 12-9.
The early loss seemed to be the wake up call the team needed. Their second game in pool play was against Cleveland , TN’s Mission Baseball Outlaws. The Savage Elite picked up their first win of the weekend 15-11. It would certainly not be their last win.
Sunday shifted from pool play to bracketed play. On a local side note during bracket play a young man with a strong connection to local baseball saw some action. Justin Clear is one of the all time greats of Cougar baseball and his son Colton Clear followed in his father’s footsteps taking the diamond for Tennessee Pride. Diamond USA picked up a win over Tennessee Pride to take on the top seeded Knoxville Smokies.
The Savage Elite won their first Sunday game in a rematch as they once again defeated the Outlaws. This time the Savage Elite outscored the Outlaws 17-9.
The Smokies defeated Diamond USA 23-8. This set up a title game between the Smokies and Savage Elite.
The title game was a much different story for the teams than the opening day of pool play. The Savage Elite came out swinging hot this time. After three innings the Savage Elite led 11-9. By the end of the fifth both teams were knotted up at 11 runs each. With the game on the line the Savage Elite picked it. They nlt only took a 15-11 lead in the final inning they also got three straight outs to win the championship 15-11.
The Savage Elite are ranked #2 in the state and #21 in the nation. The Savage Elite were at one point ranked #7 in the nation but as other states reopened from COVID 19 earlier than Tennessee did and the teams from those states were able to get a leg up in the ratings.
Next weekend they hit the road for the Tri Cities as they are playing in the Kingsport East Tennessee Global State tournament.
Here are the overall stats for the Savage Elite:
Hayden Cansler 7 for 14 with 2 RBI’S
Bentley Freeman 9 for 14 with 3 RBI’S
Cannon Hawkins 11 for 14 with 5 RBI
AJ Littlejohn 7 for 13 with 7 RBI
Daylen Hampton 8 for 13 with 8 RBI
Maddox Freeman 10 for 13 with 5 RBI
Cooper Carr 6 for 13 with 4 RBI
Tyson Edwards 9 for 12 with 3 RBI
Ryder Wallen 8 for 12 with 8 RBI
Tylan Plemons 7 for 12 with 9 RBI
Bentley Campbell 3 for 11 with 2 RBI