Substate baseball games Friday for Tennessee High, Sullivan East | Sports News


In what has been a simply great week for the Tennessee High baseball team, the group from Bristol can make this night even more memorable by booking a trip to Murfreesboro.

The Vikings (26-9) host the Gibbs Eagles (13-22) today at 5 p.m. in a TSSAA Class AAA substate matchup and a win would put THS in the state tournament for the first time since 1980.

Tennessee High beat Sullivan East, 14-2, in Wednesday’s regional title game, two days after hitting the road and recording a 9-4 win over Greeneville. It was 23 runs on 29 hits.

Brayden Blevins (7-1, 1.84 ERA, 68 strikeouts) and Andrew Dingus (4-0, 1.48 ERA, 33 strikeouts) anchor the pitching staff. Dingus (.444, five home runs, 37 RBI), Braden Wilhoit (.439), Logan Quales (.424, 35 RBI) and Gregory Harris (.386, six home runs, 37 RBI, 40 runs, 28 stolen bases ) pave the way to the plate for the Vikings.

Blevins signed with Emory & Henry College, while Quales is heading to Walters State Community College.

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There is no player on Tennessee High’s roster who was part of the 2019 team that lost a 2-0 decision at home to Farragut in the understate round. This band forged their own identity and continued the Vikings’ recent run of success.

“Nothing seems to bother them,” said THS coach Preston Roberts. “A very resilient group, they have set high expectations. … Everything can happen [Friday] but we like our chances.

The defense will also have to deliver for the Vikings.

Gibbs won the TSSAA Class AA State Championship last year.

“[Gibbs is] well-drilled, play a lot of small balls and are aggressive on base,” Roberts said. “Everyone in his lineup is having fun.”

Meanwhile, Sullivan East (23-9) has shown the ability to bounce back throughout the season and the Patriots are due to respond today at 7 p.m. when they travel to face the Anderson County Mavericks (21 -18) at 7 p.m.

East must quickly forget Wednesday’s 14-2 loss to Tennessee High as the Patriots face an experienced team.

“This group played with a lot of heart all season long,” Sullivan East coach Mike Breuninger said. “We are excited to play an understated game and we believe that if we are going to play our type of game, we have a good chance of winning.”

Dylan Bartley (.414) and Corbin Dickenson (.387) were the East’s best hitters, while Tyson Mitchell is the ace of the pitching staff.

Anderson County edged Gibbs, 7-6, Wednesday for the program’s first regional crown since 2008.

East Tennessee State University signee Luke Lowery leads the way for the Mavericks, while Bryson Wolfenbarger (Union College in Kentucky) and Thor Williams (Massachusetts Maritime Academy) head to the next level. Wyatt Cox and Logan Housewright served as leaders for the Mavericks.

With such a quick turnaround between regional championship games and substate competition, East and Anderson County won’t know much about each other when they take to the field Friday night. The same goes for Tennessee High and Gibbs.

“Everyone at this time of year is going to be good and give us their best,” Anderson County coach Josh Boynton said. “Our guys will be ready to play.”

This is East’s first substate game since 2003, when the Patriots beat Maryville en route to the school’s first — and so far only — state tournament.

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