After defeating a pair of state-ranked teams this week in sixth-ranked Tullahoma and No. 10 Cookeville, Walker Valley will open its first TSSAA State Baseball Championship Tournament with another one Tuesday.
Coach Joe Shamblin’s Mustangs will put their 27-11 record on the line against seventh-ranked Germantown (28-13) Tuesday evening in the late game at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro.
The first game of the day will be between unranked Franklin (26-10) and Bearden (27-12), with a first pitch slated for 5 p.m. Walker Valley and Germantown will play 30 minutes after the conclusion of that matchup.
On the other end of the eight-team bracket, four teams ranked in the final Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association poll will square off at Siegel High School.
Fifth-ranked Arlington (29-11) will battle No. 9 Riverdale (30-10) in the opening game, before No. 2 Mt. Juliet (38-4) will square off against third-ranked Farragut (38-4).
Tuesday’s losers will have to turn around and face off in elimination games Wednesday morning at 11, while the winners will do battle at approximately 1 p.m.The morning winners will take on the afternoon losers at 7 Wednesday evening in an elimination contest.
The final four teams will return Thursday to determine Friday’s championship matchup at Middle Tennessee State University at 6 p.m.
In its 11-year history, Walker Valley has made seven TSSAA sectional appearances, but Friday night’s hard fought 1-0, eight-inning victory over Tullahoma gave the Mustangs the school first trip to the state baseball tournament.
Coach Shamblin has led his “stallions” to the last two substate playoffs, while former coach Mike Turner reached the sectionals the school’s first five seasons, four in AA and the first year of AAA competition. Walker Valley’s predecessor, Charleston High School made several state tournament fields, including the final two seasons (2000 and 2001) of its existence.