Somehow, the Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Admirals always seem to find a way.
Despite sustaining eight losses on the season, the most since 2006, and losing in the district tournament, the Admirals found a way to string together seven straight wins to capture the Tennessee AAA state championship for the fourth consecutive season.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel
, Farragut becomes the first TSSAA team to win four consecutive titles. The championship is also the eighth for the Admirals since 2003.
Making the accomplishment even more dramatic, two Farragut pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter against Columbia Central for a 2-0 win in the championship game Friday in Murfreesboro.
, who battled arm trouble all season, pitched the first 1 1/3 inning before giving way to Xander Taylor
, who went the final 5 2/3 to complete the no-hitter. Taylor struck out four and walked five while Pfeifer walked one and struck out none.
The start was the fourth straight championship game start for Pfeifer, who got the wins in both 2009 and 2010. Pfeifer pitched only sparingly this year due to injury, going 5-1 with a 0.88 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 31.2 innings. He ends his career with 46 career wins, a Tennessee state record.
Taylor, meanwhile, also had shoulder problems during the postseason and was unable to pitch in the district tournament, which Farragut lost to Maryville.
The Admirals needed some stellar defense in the seventh to keep the no-hitter alive and outfielder Anthony El Chibani
was there to provide it. He made a diving catch for the final out to not only give the Admirals a win but also preserve the no-hitter.
"My heart was racing," Taylor told the News Sentinel. "I thought that ball was down. He just made a great jump on the ball."
El Chibani had a double among his two hits to lead the offense while Nicky Delmonico
had a double. Aj Simcox
and Scott Miller
each drove in a run while Nick Senzel
Farragut (37-8) edged past Collierville 1-0 in the semifinals with Miller driving in the only run in the third inning. Eric Freeman
went six innings and struck out nine for the win.
The Admirals also defeated Collierville in the quarterfinals 9-6 behind Delmonico's home run and four RBI. Chandler Vannoy
added three RBI while Senzel was 3-for-3 wtih two RBI. Farragut needed to score five runs over its final two at-bats to pull out the win.
The four titles brought the end of a stellar four-year varsity career for Pfeifer and Delmonico. While Pfeifer ended up with the state record for wins, Delmonico finished his career with 49 home runs.
"We're always going to want it," Pfeifer told the News Sentinel. "This program will succeed. We're well coached. We have tough players. We got kids who'll just go hard until the game's over."