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CHAMPIONS! Red Raider baseball wins 3-2 thriller to claim title

Coffee County's Red Raiders pose with their first place plaque Sunday, May 7, 2023. -- Photo by Holly Peterson, THUNDER RADIO WMSR

Shelbyville pushed Coffee County to the very end Sunday afternoon.

But the Raiders got a big pitch when they needed it.

Shelbyville loaded the bases with 2 outs, the tying run on third and the go ahead run at second in the top of the 7th inning. Raider sophomore reliever Cole Pippenger slipped a 3-2 fastball by Kyler Trice to preserve a 3-2 Red Raider win and give CHS the District 6-4A tournament championship.

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Pippenger closed out what was a career performance for Timothy Henderson, who carried the Raiders through 6.2 innings. Henderson struck out 9 batters and had a shutout through 5 innings before the eagles score on an RBI sacrifice fly from Nick Hopper to plate Nick Johnson. The Eagles only had one extra base hit in the game – a double by Johnson in the sixth.

Henderson scattered 4 hits, hit 2 and walked 2 while striking out 9 Eagles. He got two quick outs in the seventh and looked like he was headed for a complete game but the Eagles managed to work two walk and a hit batsman to load the bases. That set the stage for Pippenger, who allowed a single to Johnson to score William Bobo and cut the deficit to 3-2. Shelbyville held the potential tying run at third on Johnson’s single, and Pippenger sat down Trice to end the game.

Red Raider Timothy Henderson fires a pitch against Shelbyville Sunday, May 7, 2023. Henderson got the win for CHS. — Photo by Holly Peterson, THUNDER RADIO WMSR

At the plate Coffee County can thank leadoff hitter Caleb Moran. The senior singled in the first and fifth inning and homered in the third. He (or his courtesy runner) accounted for all 3 CHS runs scored and he accounted for 3 of Coffee County’s 4 hits – the other a single by Aiden Robertson in the fifth.

The Raiders loaded the bases in the fifth inning with only 1 out. An error allowed one run to score and the Raiders left them loaded. But that insurance run proved to be a decider.

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Palmer Edwards was charged with the loss for the Eagles. After a rocky first inning that saw the Eagles commit 3 errors – Edwards settled in and allowed 3 runs on 3 hits over 4.1 innings. He hit 3 Raider batters and struck out 2.

The Journey

The Raiders reached the championship game after battling back from the loser’s bracket. They had to win twice Saturday to force Sunday’s deciding game.

CHS beat Franklin County 10-2 and Shelbyville 9-2 behind strong pitching performances from Brady Daugherty and Jayden Fellers.

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Up next

Both Coffee County and Shelbyville are advancing to the Region 3-4A tournament Friday – which will be held in East Tennessee. The Raiders will play the no. 2 seed from District 5-4A and the Eagles will play the no. 1 seed.

This is the first year the region will be double elimination. Games will be played Friday and Saturday, May 12-13.

Thunder Radio will post more information as it is available.

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Shelbyville: 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 – 2 4 5

Coffee Co: 1 0 1 0 1 0 – 3 4 2


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W. Bobo – 0-3, 1BB, 1R

J. Beverly – 1-3, HBP

C. Williams – 0-2, 2BB

N. Johnson – 2-4, 2B, 1R

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K. Trice – 1-4

N. Hopper – 0-2, RBI

C. Molder – 0-3

M. Shavers – 0-2, HBP

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M. Wilson – 1-3

Palmer Edwards – 4.1 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 HBP, 2 strikeouts (loss)

Carston Williams – 1.2 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 HBP, 2 strikeouts (No Decision)

Coffee County

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C. Moran – 3-3, HR, RBI, 3R

C. Pippenger – 0-2, HBP

A. Robertson – 1-3

N. Jernigan – 0-2, HBP

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C. McKenzie – 0-2, HBP

N. Rutledge – 0-3

B. Sheppard – 0-3

D. Crosslin – 0-3

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J. Fellers – 0-2 HBP

Timothy Henderson – 6.2 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs, 2 BB, 2HBP, 9 strikeouts (win)

Cole Pippenger – 0.1 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 strikeout (save)

Caleb Moran connects to drive a home run to left centerfield Sunday, May 7, 2023 against Shelbyville. — Photo by Holly Peterson, THUNDER RADIO WMSR

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