By Thomas Sellers Jr.
BARTLETT — Cody Young might be the least popular teenager in Tipton County.
And the Collierville Dragon has done his harm to the residents of the county from the plate of the Bartlett Panther Baseball Field. On March 12, Young smacked a two-run double in the seventh inning to win a Lewis Harris Tournament game over the Brighton Cardinals 4-3.
The following day the Dragons were trailing the Munford Cougars 3-2 entering the seventh. Collierville tied the game and set the plate for Young to be the hero once again.
He came through with a walk-off single to give the Dragons another 4-3 victory over a Tipton County squad. Despite letting the game slip away, first-year Munford Head Coach Jason Johnson said his team walked away from Freeman Park with confidence.
“We have to take away from that, we are just as good of a team as they are,” he said. “Collierville is a tough team. A team that we’re going to have to get through in order to get to where we want to be. Today we found out we can play with them.
“Just a couple of mistakes there at the end cost it for us,” Jason added. “But we know we can play with them and we’ll be ready for them if we meet up again when it matters.”
The Cougars kept pace with the Dragons through the first three innings behind the pitching of Hunter Barber. The hurler had five strikeouts during that time.
But his teammates had a difficult time during the first three innings falling victim to four strikeouts of their own.
Then in the fourth inning Munford rallied for two runs starting with a Jase Hutchinson single. Two batters later JC Trobaugh drove home the first RBI of the game with a base hit.
After Tommy Smith was hit by a pitch, Walker Boulder singled in the second run giving the Cougars a 2-0 lead.
Collierville cut the deficit in half in it’s half of the fourth frame. Then Munford regained a two-run advantage in the fifth inning when Barber helped his cause with a sacrifice bunt to score teammate Brandon Young.
The Dragons starched a run in the sixth inning to make the score 3-2. Barber left the mound in position to win handing the ball to Hutchinson.
The senior challenged the Dragon batters in the zone the entire inning. But it was a couple of miscues in the field that allowed Collierville to tie the game and set up Young with a game-winning opportunity with runners in scoring position.
Young’s base hit did the job and ended the game giving the Dragons a one-run victory.
“It comes down to execution,” Johnson said. “There might have been some little jitters there in trying to win a big game against a quality opponent.
“The only way to get over those jitters is to put yourself in there and experience it,” he added. “So the next time they’re not there as much and the next time not as much and the next time they’re all gone. Just have to play big games and have the boys execute what we’re trying to do.”
The Dragons left the field with another win and knowing Young is a clutch player. Johnson left the ball park with some positives as well.
“Hunter Barber threw a really good game,” he said. “And until that last inning, we played a great defensive game.
“We didn’t execute at the plate with our bunts and things of that nature the way we wanted to,” Johnson concluded. “But we did decent. It was a good first day, first game. It was a good first game against a quality opponent. It’s something we can definitely build on.”