Holmes, Rutherford open PCI tourney with shutout


Heath Holmes deals to the plate during his four-hit shutout. Holmes struck out two and walked three.

Patti Blake photo
Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 06:43 PM.

SAND HILLS — Rutherford has a habit of playing up to the competition around this time of year, especially during the Panama City Invitational high school baseball tournament it hosts every March.

Tuesday at Bozeman was the latest version of that theme, as right-hander Heath Holmes and the Rams handcuffed Tennessee perennial power Farragut (Knoxville area) 7-0 in the opening game of the 10th annual event.

Rutherford coach Jon Hudson acknowledged that rising to the occasion, and sometimes the opposite, has been hit team’s DNA in recent seasons.

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“They were excited today, they knew about (Farragut’s) tradition” of reaching the state finals in 10 of the past 13 years, Hudson said. “Heath came out and threw strikes and we were able to get some bunts down and be more  complete offensively.”

It also was noteworthy that Rutherford (7-2) was playing its ninth game of the season while the Admirals (2-2) have been plagued with weather far more limiting than Bay County has experienced.

The Tennessee school was competitive except for the bottom of the fourth inning when the Rams first six batters all reached and scored. AJ Thornton and Nick Nelson each had two-run singles in the uprising as a 1-0 lead expanded to 7-0.

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