Although it is unconventional, the Tullahoma Wildcats can only hope its true as they will play on the road in the baseball sectional game for the fourth consecutive year when they travel to Cookeville Friday night to take on the Cavaliers.
Tullahoma (32-7) dropped a difficult 2-1 decision to Riverdale (26-11) Wednesday night in the Region 4-AAA finals, while Cookeville went on the road and beat Ooltewah 11-9. Ooltewah will travel to Riverdale on Friday.
The Wildcats fell to Coffee County 3-2 in the sectional finals in 2010, then 7-6 to Soddy-Daisy in 2011, and finally 1-0 to Walker Valley last year.
The Cats had set their sights all season on hosting the sectional game, but a shuffled lineup and an outstanding pitching performance by Riverdale’s Barry Puckett forced Tullahoma to once again take to the road to reach the state tournament.
Puckett allowed only one hit, a fifth inning single by Zane Price that drove in the Wildcats’ only run. Riverdale handed Justin Brown the loss, scoring once in the second inning and once in the fifth, with the second on a solo home run.
Michael Shipp relieved Brown in the fifth and gave up only one hit the rest of the way. Brown only allowed four hits in his 4.2 innings.
Cookeville (31-1-1) led Ooltewah 7-2, then fell behind 8-7, before regaining the lead and earning the home field on Friday. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the broadcast will be live on the Tullahoma Sports Network – 105.1 FM, Tullahomaradio.com, TuneIn Radio app and LightTUBe channel 11.