After a rough season for a young Macon County Baseball team, the Tigers were seated in last place entering the District Tournament held in Murfreesboro May 3 - 6.
Game 1: The Tigers faced the number 1 seated, Central Magnet. Senior, Jonny Brown was on the mound for Macon County. Brown couldn’t seem to find the strike zone walking four batters in the first inning giving Central the lead 1 to zero. But, Brown would find the zone in the 2nd and would not allow Central another batter on base until the fifth inning. Craighead came in to close the game for the Tigers. Central Magnet would get the win with the one unearned run. Brown had 6 strikeouts, 1 hit, and 5 walks. Craighead ended with 5 strikeouts. Carnahan went 1 for 3 with a double. Defensively, the Tigers looked like a much improved team from the regular season. This loss put the Tigers in the loser’s bracket for the remainder of the tournament.
Game 2: The Tigers would travel an hour and half to match up with Smith Co in tournament play. Smith Co had swept the Tigers in regular season action. The Tigers were fighting to stay alive, it was win or go home. Macon County would put Justin Woodard on the mound. Woodard has had an excellent showing on the mound this season and would not disappoint during tournament play. Tigers would be guest on the scoreboard; Craighead hit a triple in the 1st, but was not able to score. Offensively, the Tigers were able to put the ball in play, but the Owls defense was determined to keep Macon from scoring. The game remained scoreless for four innings of play. With bases loaded in the top of the 5th inning, Kristopher Boone would pop out, Jacob Brown would tag up and score, but the Owls would add 2 runs to their score. With the score 1 -2 Owls; going into the 6th inning, Hunter Williams would get hit by pitch; Woodard would get a single; Williams would score tying the game at 2. Craighead would come in to pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning sending the game into extra innings. In the top of the 9th, Daniel Ashburn would get a single; Brown would bunt to advance the runner. After hitting a triple, double, and a single, the Owls would intentionally walk Craighead. Boone would single scoring Ashburn. Gregory would walk, Williams would get a single scoring 2 runs. Macon County would get the win 5 - 2 and advance to next round. For 6 innings pitched, Woodard had 5 strikeouts and 5 hits. Craighead had 7 strikeouts and allowed 1 hit and a walk. Ashburn went 2 for 4 & a walk; Brown 2 for 5; Boone had 2 RBIs; Woodard 2 for 4 & RBI; Williams 3 for 4 & Hit by Pitch; Craighead 3 for 4 and a walk.
Game 3: In another death match of win or go home, the Macon County Tigers would battle the Tigers from Livingston. Livingston would score 1 in the 1st, but Macon County would get their rally bats going in the top of the 2nd inning, batting 12 and scoring 7 runs to take an impressive lead and hold on for 5 innings of play. Livingston would add a run in the 5th, 2 more in the 6th. At the top of the 7th, Carnahan would double, Williams would single scoring Carnahan, Woodard would single; Ashburn would single scoring Woodard. Macon would hold on for a final score of 10 to 5 advancing to the final round of tournament play. Jonny Brown had 6 strikeouts, 4 hits, and 3 walks. Woodard had 3 strikeouts and 3 hits. Every Macon Co Tiger would add to their batting average during this game.
Game 4: Macon would be in a rematch with Central Magnet. In a continued battle to win or go home, the Tigers were not able to get anything going in the 1st, but Central would find the gap on 5 hits taking the lead 5 - 0. Macon would come back to score 2 in the 2nd, but hits and walks allowed Central to add to their lead, 9 - 2 going into the 3rd. The bats for Macon appeared dried up for the season and the Tigers were unable to get another hit in the game. Central added 2 more runs in the 3rd and a homerun in the bottom of the 6th inning sealed the deal ending the season for the Macon County Tigers with a final score of 12 - 2. Carnahan would pitch for 2 strikeouts and 7 walks; Hunter Williams gave up 4 walks; and Brandon Noles would close with 3 strikeouts, 4 hits, and 2 walks. Carnahan would go 2 for 3 with RBI; Woodard would go 1 for 2 with RBI.
Most of the Teams in the District had wrote Macon off as a contender, but Wil Norfleet from Central Magnet said “he could tell Macon had a lot of fight left in them at the first game of the tournament”. With an impressive show, Macon Co would finish 3rd in the District Tournament. With only two seniors on the team, the younger guys stepped up their game and saw a lot of action this season. Macon is set to be a competitive threat in the district next year.