NOLENSVILLE -- The Nolensville Knights came back from a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the fifth inning, downing the Greenbrier Bobcats 5-3 on Friday night to clinch a berth in the TSSAA Class AA state tournament.
“They were able to string some good at-bats together,” Greenbrier coach Justin Alberson said. “We had a bad hop that the shortstop booted to give them two runs, otherwise, we would have been out of the inning.”
In the top of the first inning, the Bobcats provided some fireworks with a two-run homer off the bat of catcher Luke Jones, giving Greenbrier an early 2-0 lead.
“(Jones) has been a driving force for our team all year,” Alberson stated. “He is our leader, and he is going to Tennessee Tech for a reason. He is a good player that plays with a lot of heart and emotion.”
Nolensville cut into the lead in the bottom of the first when Tyler Smith scored on a double play to cut it to 2-1. That was all the Knights could find offensively as Greenbrier pitcher Trey Semore was sharp, forcing groundouts and flyouts.
Greenbrier’s Chance Merithew found a gap in the infield for an RBI single to extend the Bobcat lead to 3-1 in the top of the third. Semore and Nolensville’s Kyler Hayes were then locked in a pitcher’s duel until the bottom of the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth, Nolensville finally broke through. Dawson Conder got the rally started with an RBI triple to cut it to 3-2. Tyler Hammonds chipped in an RBI single and infielder Tyler Hummel gave Nolensville the lead with another RBI single as the Knights held a 4-3 advantage.
In the top of the sixth, Knights reliever Reese Milam tallied three groundouts to hold the lead at 4-3. The Knights added to their lead on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth to extend the score to 5-3.
Milam closed it out in the top of the seventh to seal the victory for Nolensville, 5-3.
Jones led the Bobcats at the plate going 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs. Merithew, Micah Escue and Travis Arms all added two hits.
Semore finished the game allowing four runs on six hits over five innings. He walked six and struck out three. Jones threw an inning in relief, allowing one run on one hit.
The loss ends the Bobcats season at 23-9.