The Nolensville baseball team shut out Lewis County, pulling off a dominant 8-0 win in the Region 6-AA semifinals Monday night at home.
The Knights will host their first region championship Wednesday.
Tyler Smith triggered an offensive onslaught with a single and three stolen bases to score the first run. Then, in the bottom of the second inning, Tyler Hammonds rounded third and jogged into home for the second run, and Ethan Syling and Hummel added scores. By the end of the second, the Knights were up 4-0.
“I noticed that the catcher pre-game wasn’t real quick, so I tried to take advantage of that early,” Smith said. “After I got home, I thought that this was going to be a good game.”
The Panthers first three batters of the third inning were taken down in order, opening the gates for another three-score inning for the Knights in the third. This time, Dawson Conder made it home after advancing to third due to an error. Hammonds also scored, and Styling scored his second run of the game.
The Knights sat atop a 7-0 lead with both Styling and Hummel having two hits apiece and Hummell driving in three runs.
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“I’m very proud of this team; I thought we had a great team win,” Nolensville coach Zach Hudson said. “Our pitching corps did great and we’re playing our best ball right now.”
The Knights stole seven bases and struck out six Panthers without any walks.
Nolensville starter Reece Milam opened by allowing a single from Benton Webb, but kept Lewis County at bay the rest of the way through four innings. He scattered four hits with four strikeouts.
“I was nervous because the leadoff guy got a base hit right off the bat, but I just tried to throw strikes and let our defense work,” Milam said. "Our defense is really solid this year. They’ve gotten me out of a lot of tough situations.”
In the fifth, the Knights gave Jared Steltmann his turn on the mound. He kept the Panthers off the board, and Hammonds made it home for a second time. Relief pitcher Kyler Hayes closed out the game in the seventh.
Nolensville will host Forrest Wednesday for the region championship. The Knights beat Forrest 9-2 last week for the program's first District 12-AA championship.
Hudson said postgame he doesn't care who they play, but was excited for a shot at a region title.
“I told the guys we have another opportunity for a championship,” he said.