GORDONSVILLE — Eagleville's baseball team is headed to the TSSAA state tournament and Spring Fling for the fourth time in school history following Friday afternoon's 4-1 sectional win against Gordonsville.
“(Gordonsville) is a good team. Our guys are playing with great confidence and played like they have been here before,” Eagleville head coach Travis Holland said. “This is for everyone that has been through this program, and their contributions to this program is what is most important to me.”
This will be Holland’s first state tournament trip with the Eagleville program since his tenure began in 2013. The program’s last trip came in 2012 with a state runner-up finish to Decatur County-Riverside.
“I still can’t believe we are going to state,” senior Blake Brewer said. “Every year we have gotten progressively better and this feeling is surreal.”
Caleb Holdcraft pitched a gem for the Eagles with seven innings of work, scattering five hits and two walks.
“We knew coming in that runs were going to be a premium, but I could not have asked for a better game out of (Holdcraft),” Holland said. “On the other side we swung the bat well against the arms (Gordonsville) ran out there.”
Eagleville got its run production early with a Brewer RBI bunt single in the first inning. Holdcraft led off the third inning with his second double of the game and scored on a Bennett Scheffler backside ground out. Brewer singled later in the inning before coming around to score on an Ethan Cobb single to take a 3-1 lead.
“We came into this game knowing how it feels to have a game this big slip through your fingers,” Brewer said of last year’s sectional 3-2 heartbreaker to South Pittsburg. “We were determined and did not want to leave any doubt. I believe we are a dangerous team right now.”
Ryan Wells' postseason success saw another big night with an RBI double in the fourth to extend the lead to 4-1. The junior lead-off hitter has produced a 14-of-18 postseason with eight runs and six RBIs.
This senior class has endured three consecutive sectional losses before finally breaking through Wednesday afternoon — a class that has collected consecutive District 8-A Championships with 85 total wins.
“I have confidence in these guys to play in these big games because they have been here before,” Holland said. “That is also a testament to the previous classes that have put these guys in position to get better and achieve new heights every season.”