Govs hit Discount Pharmacy tourney red hot

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By Stefan Cooper
Sports Editor
Blount Today

William Blount is on a serious roll.

Only days after scoring a pair of big district wins over South-Doyle and Maryville, the Governors outdid themselves at the prestigious SportsBelle Classic in Knoxville over the weekend.

Scoring upsets of top-ranked Dobyns-Bennett and Nashville Overton en route, William Blount cut a path through an elite field all the way to Saturday’s semifinal at Tennessee’s Lindsey Nelson Stadium, where they fell, 13-6, to second-ranked Oakland. The Governors led, 6-0, at one point during the contest.

Following up with a victory over District 4AAA foe and county rival Heritage on Monday, the Governors (14-6, 5-2) hit this weekend’s Blount Discount Pharmacy Spring Invitational, the results of Wednesday’s clash with defending state champion Farragut not withstanding, a team with the pieces rapidly falling into place.

"We’ve still got some tough ones in front of us," Governor coach Charlie Puleo said. "The next two weeks are going to be rough. We’re going to see what we’re made of."

The Indians entered the SportsBelle tournament ranked No. 1 in the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Poll and No. 6 nationally by Collegiate Baseball. Junior right-hander Aaron Garland limited Dobyns-Bennett to an earned run on four hits and struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings of work in pool play on Friday at Karns.

Fellow junior Tyler Burstrom induced an inning-ending double play with runners at first and third for the final two outs of the sixth as William Blount went on to carve out a 5-3 win.

Saturday morning, Overton felt the sting of the Governor bats in an 8-2 William Blount win. Second-ranked Oakland rallied from an early deficit to end the Governors’ championship hopes later that afternoon, but not before William Blount erupted for a six-run second, keyed by a two-run home run from catcher Logan Goodin and a three-run bomb from Travis Webb.

Goodin shares the team lead with four round-trippers this season, equaled by junior Kevin Houser, who hits out of the No. 9 spot. It’s part of a batting order assistant coach John Garland has clicking on all cylinders as the season enters the second half.

"John does a great job with them," Puleo said, "but we’ve still got some things to do."

William Blount, winner of 13 of its last 15 contests, hosts South Charleston (W.Va.) in Thursday’s Discount Pharmacy opener on Thursday at 4 p.m.

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