Game 1: Macon County vs. Whitewell
The Macon County Tigers filled up their gas tanks, packed their bags, and headed to the big hills of Grundy County to participate in the Mountain Valley Tournament. The first opponent for the MCHS Tigers were the Whitewell Tigers of Marion County. Macon County started off on the right foot when lead off hitter Austin Taft singled on a line drive shot to left field, and Austin Craighead walked moving Taft into scoring position. Junior Ian Whittemore reached on an E-4 that scored the only run of the first inning.
The second inning the Macon County tigers added to their lead as Ryan Craighead and Tyler Kemp both got on base with line drive singles, and Jacob Haley walked to load the bases up for the Tigers with nobody out and the top of the line up due up. Junior Austin Taft grounded to third scoring Ryan for a fielder’s choice sacrifice RBI. And the Macon County Tigers lead the Whitewell Tigers 2 to 0 at the end of two innings. Whitewell tried to put something together in the fourth inning with two hits and three walks, but they could only manage one run as pitcher Dalton Shrum ended their inning with a strike out with the bases loaded. Macon County beat Whitewell by the final score of 2 to 1.
Austin Taft batted 2 for 2 with a sacrifice RBI and a run scored, Ian Whittemore went 1 for 3 with a double, Andrew Kempf and Shane Hesson were both 1 for 3 at the plate. Ryan Craighead stayed hot going 2 for 3 with a run scored and Tyler Kemp batted 1 for 2.
Dalton Shrum picked up the win holding the Whitewell Tigers to just one run on four hits and striking out five.
Game 2: Macon County vs. Grundy County
Macon County took on tournament hosts Grundy County in Game 2 Friday night. The Tigers jumped on the Yellow Jackets early in the first inning, thanks to their sizzling bats. Four doubles, two singles, and a walk added up to five big runs for the Tigers to open the game. Austin Craighead started the big inning hitting a double in the gap, and Ian Whittemore drew a one away walk. Senior clean up hitter Andrew Kempf lined a pitch to the fence bringing home both Austin Craighead and Ian Whittemore, and putting himself on second base with a stand up two RBI double. Freshman Larkin Whittemore made the most of his at bat by doubling his own line drive to the fence and scoring Kempf. Designated hitter Shane Hesson added to the onslaught with his own double off the fence scoring Larkin Whittemore, and Tyler Kemp singled bringing home Hesson. Just like that the Tigers were fine tuned and in business.
The Yellow Jackets fought back for two runs in the bottom of the first inning off a hit by pitch, a single, and three walks, but Macon County pitcher Jacob McClard, settled down to retire the next seven straight Grundy County batters.
Second baseman Larkin Whittemore started the third inning with a lead off single, followed by another hit by Tyler Kemp. Junior Ryan Craighead delivered with a one out RBI single scoring Larkin, to make the score 6 to 2 Tigers at the end of three innings.
To start the fourth inning, sophomore Austin Craighead found a pitch to his liking and crushed it over the left-centerfield fence giving the Tigers a 7 to 2 lead. The Yellow Jackets would add one more run in the fifth inning off a single and a double, but the Tigers would pick up the victory by the final score 7 to 3.
The Mountain Valley Tournament was made up of three pools with five teams per pool. The Macon County Tigers were the winners of the A pool which consisted of Grundy County, Macon County, Smyrna, Upperman, and Whitewell. The Tigers who advanced to the championship round for Sunday lost to the 6A Lincoln County Falcons.