Earning their fifth straight region tournament berth, the second-seeded Wildcats held off No. 3 Meigs County 12-11 and will have to travel back to Madisonville today to take on top-seeded Sequoyah.
If Polk can bounce back and defeat the Chiefs today and again tomorrow (in Benton in the if-necessary game), then it will host Monday’s Region 3-AA opener against either Red Bank or Chattanooga Central. Should the Wildcats fall to Sequoyah today or tomorrow they will journey to the winner between the Lions and Purple Pounders.
Meigs County jumped on the board quickly Tuesday, putting up four runs before Polk came to bat. The hosts responded with a 5-spot of their own to take a lead.
Coach Michael Carter’s ’Cats added a solo run in the second and two more in the third but the Tigers clawed back into the contest with a four-run fourth inning and then retook the advantage with a single run in the top of the fifth.
Polk County caught fire in the fifth with four more runs to vault back into the lead and then held on for dear life as Meigs scored twice in the top of the seventh to pull within a run before the Wildcats shut the door.
Justin Brown earned his first pitching victory of the season, going the final three frames, striking out three and walking just one, while scattering four hits. The junior also led the Wildcat hitting attack, going 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs, plus he scored twice.
Duncan Coffey plated three teammates with a double and single in three at bats, plus he also touched home a couple of times.
Collin Wimberley helped out the victory with a pair of hits and two runs scored, while Hunter Carter doubled home two teammates.
Matt Hammonds drove in a pair and scored a run, while senior Alex Akins, singled, walked, was hit by a pitch and scored three times. Carter Flowers drew a bases-loaded walk, while Andrew Aldridge completed the 11-hit Polk attack with a single, plus he scored a run. Javan Simpson walked twice and circled the bases once.
WILDCATS 12, TIGERS 11
Meigs County 400 410 2 — 11 11 0
Polk County 512 040 x — 12 11 4
WP: Justin Brown (1-0) 3 IP, 3 Ks, 1 BB, 4 H, 2 ER. LP: Austin Goforth. 3B: Justin Brown (PC). 2B: Hunter Carter, Duncan Coffey (PC). RBI: Coffey 3, Brown 2, Matt Hammonds 2,Hunter Carter 2, Carter Flowers (PC) Highlights: Brown 3-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 r; Coffey 2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 r; Collin Wimberley 2-for-5, 2 r; Alex Akins 1-for-3, BB, HBP, 3 r (PC). Records: Polk County (18-11).