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Spring Fling update: TRA baseball falls in title game;TRA softball to play for title Friday morning

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TRA pitcher Connor Alexander puts the tag on USJ's Alex Hardin during the DII-S state titel game Thursday in Murfreesboro. Photo by Jeff Ireland

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Tipton-Rosemark Academy baseball team made a nice run after dropping its first round game Tuesday in the DII-A state tournament.

After beating Battle Ground Academy and Webb on Wednesday, the Rebels needed to beat University School of Jackson twice on Thursday at Middle Tennessee State University.

TRA jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but could not score again. USJ scored in every inning en route to an 8-4 win and a state title.

"The guys battled and put their heart out there today for the program," said TRA head coach Brad Smith. "I appreciate that."

"We started off not the way we wanted, so we had to fight our way back," said senior Connor Alexander. "It took a lot of energy and a lot of hard work. We just didn't have all we had today."

Alexander, who pitched seven innings against BGA on Wednesday, threw two more innings in relief. Conner Sanders started on the mount and went three innings. Gil Erwin pitched the sixth.

USJ scored two runs in the second and sixth innings and one in the first, third, fourth and fifth.

The big blow came in the sixth inning when Logan Carey doubled in two runs to give the Bruins an 8-4 lead.

Jacob LaFosse and Logan Stewart each singled in a run in the top of the first and two more runs scored on errors. Blain Curtis got the inning going with a lead-off double.

"Hats off to USJ today," Smith said. "They came and swung the bats real well and did what they needed to do. Coming into today I knew we had to make plays. We came out strong in the first and didn't really do much after that."

Alex Garrett when the distance for USJ, holding the Rebels to five hits and two earned runs.

In softball action Thursday, Ashton Needham homered and Rachel Whitley tripled to lead the Lady Rebels to a 6-4 win over USJ in the winners' bracket.

TRA will now play either USJ or Davidson Friday morning at 10 for the state title. TRA's opponent will have to beat them twice for the title.

Whitley struck out three batters over 4.1 inning to earn the win. Needham pitched the rest of the way to secure the victory.

TRA scored twice in the top of the seventh to break a 4-4 tie.


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