BENTON — The new TSSAA diamond season opened with a bang for a pair of Polk County teams Monday in Benton.
The baseball Wildcats, under the direction of coaching legends John Dixon and Frankie Lowery, exploded for 17 hits in a 13-2 victory over Tellico Plains, while head coach Bill Triplett’s softball Lady Wildcats downed Hixson 8-3.
The Polk girls will travel to Red Bank this evening to face the Lady Lions, while the Wildcats will play in the 2014 Richard Edwards Memorial Playing For a Cure event Thursday-Saturday. The Lady Wildcats will travel to Dayton to play in the Meigs County Tournament this weekend as well.
The Polk boys scored in all four of their at bats in the run-rule shortened contest Monday, scoring two, one, four and six runs respectively.
Jake Cardin drove in three runs in the victory, while Matthew Hammond, Ben Norwood and Kendrick Tinker plated a pair of teammates each. Cardin, Hammond and Norwood each stroked a double in the victory.
Senior Carter Flowers retired the first dozen Bear batters he faced and lost his perfect game bid on an error. He struck out seven and finished with a two-hitter after Tellico was able to score twice in the top of the fifth inning.
On the softball diamond next to the baseball field, the Lady Wildcats put up back-to-back three-run rallies in their first two at bats of the season.
Brianna Muller went 3-for-4, ripped a pair of doubles and drove in two runs, while Aubrie Bowman had a two-bagger in her two hits, plus she scored twice.
Hannah Triplett went the distance in the circle for the pitching victory, scattering a half dozen hits.
Hixson 000 100 2 — 3 6 5
Polk County 330 101 x — 8 8 2
WP: Hannah Triplett (1-0) 7 IP. LP: Green (0-1). 2B: Taylor, Green (H); Brianna Muller 2, Aubrie Bowman (PC); RBI: Muller 2 (PC). Highlights: Muller 3-for-4, 2 2Bs, 2 runs, Bowman 2 hits, 2B, 2 runs (PC). Records: Hixson (0-1); Polk Co. 1-0.
Tellico Plains 000 02 — 2 2 2
Polk County 214 6x — 13 17 1
WP: Carter Flowers (1-0) 5 IP, 7 K’s. LP: Beck (0-1). 2B: Jake Cardin, Matthew Hammond, Ben Norwood (PC); RBI: Cardin 3, Hammonds 2, Norwood 2, Kendrick Tinker 2 (PC). Highlights: Flowers set down first 12 batters he faced. Tinker had two hits (PC). Records: Tellico Plains 0-1; Polk County 1-0.