Duke’s Shutout Lifts Bobcats to Split of Opening Series
Tucker Duke pitched one of the best games of his young high school career Tuesday as the junior threw seven shutout innings to hand his Bobcat baseball team a split of the District 12-AA opening series against Page.
Giles County (1-1, 1-1) played a doubleheader against the Patriots (1-1, 1-1) in Franklin after the Bobcats’ home opener was canceled Monday due to poor weather conditions. GCHS defeated Page 4-0 in one of the two contests, while falling 13-1 in the other, marking the second-straight season the teams have split the regular season series.
Game 1 was a battle of aces between the Patriots’ 6-foot-2, Middle Tennessee State commit, Peyton Wigginton, and the Bobcats’ returning work horse from last season, Blade Matthews.
Wigginton threw four innings of one-hit baseball to pick up the victory in a game that was called after five innings due to the run rule. Matthews struggled early, giving up six hits and five walks to go along with three strikeouts in two innings of work, but five team defensive errors cost the Bobcats. Sam Cardin came in to pitch three innings in relief and allowed three hits and only one earned run, while striking out three. Only five of the Patriots’ 13 runs were earned.
Wigginton struck out nearly half the batters he faced, tallying eight in four innings but also allowing four walks. Bryce Gibson had the lone GCHS hit in the contest. Page outhit the Bobcats 9-1 en route to the victory.
Game 2 saw a reversal of roles as it was the Page lineup that was unable to come up with timely hits against GCHS side-arm thrower, Duke. The right-hander allowed just three hits and one walk to go along with nine strikeouts on the day in picking up the first victory of the season for his team.
The Bobcats struck for four runs against the Page starting pitcher, chasing him from the game in the fourth inning. GCHS scored three runs in the second and one more in the third with two RBIs from Gibson and one from Mack Young. The final run scored on a balk by the Patriots.
Gibson led GCHS with a 2-for-3 performance and two RBIs. Mack Young added a 2-for-4 day at the plate with an RBI. Dylan Carmon and Seth Waters both doubled, while Matthews also added a base hit. GCHS outhit Page 7-3 in the win.
The Bobcats are playing in a tournament in Pigeon Forge March 16-18 with games against Rockwood, Cookeville, Carter and Pigeon Forge.