Byrd wins district tennis title; Tiger baseball falls to Carter
Two Pigeon Forge boys proved they’re the dominant force in District 3-A/AA singles tennis.
Garrett Byrd won the district title on Saturday, beating teammate Chad Gibson at the tournament being held in Pigeon Forge. Both players now move onto the region tournament on May 12.
Byrd beat his teammate 6-4, 6-1, completing a three-win day for the senior. Byrd beat Gatlinburg-Pittman’s CJ McFalls 6-0, 6-0 before reaching the final with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Grace Christian’s Trevon McElroy.
Gibson got to face his teammate in the final by beating Gatlinburg-Pittman’s Eddie Wear and Rockwood’s Ryan Hamby.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” said Gibson. “It was less pressure. Playing one and two, you already know you’re going to region. I thought it was a lot of fun.”
Also reaching the region tournament was the Highlander boys pairing of Tanner Cox and Tucker Shults. They reached the final with a pair of wins before finishing runner-up to a duo from Meigs County.
“It feels good,” Cox said. “I feel like me and my partner have a good chance of advancing a little bit more. ... We play good together as a team. We’ve been playing since freshman year — not doubles but on the same team — so we know each other pretty good.”
Pigeon Forge 5
PIGEON FORGE — The Tigers fell into the losers’ bracket via two big innings.
Pigeon Forge had a 5-1 lead when the Hornets scored six in the third and blew the game open with five in the fifth. Carter racked up 17 hits while the Tigers committed three errors.
“They played like they wanted to win more than we did,” said Tigers coach Mike Guinn. “That was a big disappointment. We made some mistakes and opened the floodgates.”
Koleman Roach took the loss on the mound, tossing 2 2/3 innings and giving up seven runs, only two earned. The Tigers scored all five runs in the first two innings.
Scott Lafollette had three hits and a run scored while Josh Griffin had two hits and scored once.
Pigeon Forge must now beat Union County on Monday in an elimination game.
A win gets the Tigers a rematch with Carter in the district final.