Of all the teams headed to the Blue Cross Spring Fling state tournaments this week, the one with the most momentum would be David Lipscomb’s baseball team.
The Mustangs (29-7) certainly are the most resilient after twice looking down the barrel of their final out last Friday. But they used their ninth life in the eighth inning to pull out an improbable 8-7 win over Lexington in the AA Sectionals.
In an elimination game, Lipscomb trailed Lexington 5-2 before coming up with three runs in the sixth, with Kyle Lehning’s high-bouncing RBI single tying the game.
Lexington scored a run in the seventh for a 6-5 lead before Rob Kurtz beat out a two-out infield hit, which was bobbled by the first baseman, allowing the tying run to score in the bottom of the seventh.
Lexington scored again in the eighth, but with two outs, Kevin Davis ripped a clutch double to left-center, scoring the tying run. Then T.J. Hoelzer’s sinking line drive to center fell in for a walk-off hit, with Hoelzer knocking in the biggest RBI of his life.
“I hit a curve ball up. When it got into extra innings, we just kept plugging away,’’ Hoelzer said. “When the run scored, I went crazy, just like everyone else.’’
“Honestly, when we got behind that last time, I turned over to (assistant) Charlie Hale and said, ‘You know, we’ve had a pretty good season, and our guys have given it everything they had,’’’ said Lipscomb coach Ernie Smith, whose team won state in 2005.
“But our guys just wouldn’t quit, they kept fighting. This should give us some big-time momentum for state.’’
TRACK EVENTS START TODAY: The boys decathlon and girls pentathlon events open today on the MTSU track in Murfreesboro, the first events up in this week’s Blue Cross Spring Fling schedule.
Some of the area favorites include Kevin Carney of Father Ryan, who has a slight hamstring pull, and three-time defending champ Ben Davies of Brentwood Academy, who has been slowed by an aggravating hamstring pull (DII), and Kevin Lazas of Brentwood High (AAA) in boys.
Defending A/AA champ Kirstyn Sweeney of Lipscomb and Pearl-Cohn’s Brielle Moore should contend for the A/AA title, along with Ensworth’s Anna Bowers (DII) in the girls pentathlon. Both events open today at 10 a.m.
The A/AA and DII team tennis event opens Tuesday at MTSU, and the AAA opens at Old Ft. Park, all beginning at 9 a.m. Finals are Wednesday at 9.
DAVIDSON TEAMS QUALIFY: It was a big day last Thursday at Davidson Academy. Both the Bears’ baseball and softball teams qualified for state after sweeping best-of-three DII-A sectional series, 2-0.
The baseball team (32-7) beat Tipton-Rosemark behind pitchers Ryan Goad and Taylor Hudson. Ainsley McCullough pitched two one-hit shutouts and Holly Beth Jones belted two homers with six RBIs in twin wins Tipton, leading the softball team (29-9-1) into another state tourney.
ENSWORTH, GREEN CAPTURE TITLE: Ensworth’s girls ended a Brentwood Academy and Harpeth Hall dominance by winning the girls DII Middle Region track title last Friday. They have their eyes on a state title this week at MTSU.
“Hopefully, we’ve put ourselves in that position,’’ said coach Scott Perkinson. “We’ve had great leadership from Chela Green, Anna Bowers and Allison Perkins.’’
Green rallied from almost 10 meters down to edge Harpeth Hall’s Elle Del Favero at the tape by .16 second in a great race.
“I was trying so hard at the end, tears were streaming down my face,’’ Green said. “We were both diving at the finish line, she fell, and I almost fell, too. I’m hoping to run :56 in state (she ran :57.98 Friday).’’
MBA needed a fourth-place finish in the last race, the 4X400 relay, and the Big Red got a third, which gave them a two-point win over Brentwood Academy for the boys team title.
Coach Robert Pruitt looks for a wide-open race for the boys DII state title. “MBA, BA, Baylor, McCallie and MUS all have events they’re strong in,’’ he said. “Whoever does best in their strengths will likely win it.’’
THREE RECORDS FOR VAUGHN: BA senior Chris Vaughn left the MBA track Friday with three records. He set the 100 mark last year (which he didn’t run Friday), then ran away with the 200 (:22.12) and 400 (:48.23) races in record times. “I’ve worked hard, remained very disciplined and I pray before every race,’’ said Vaughn, who signed with Indiana.
Also, Ensworth soph Garrett Carmichael won the 1600 and 3200.
USN’S LAVENDER SHINES: Tiny 5-4 freshman Jordan Lavender became the first USN runner to sweep the DII girls 100 and 200 when she smoked the field in those races.
“It’s very exciting, I’ve worked hard, and it’s nice to be part of history,’’ she said.
DCA TENNIS MOVES ON: Donelson Christian Academy’s boys tennis team, winners of both the district and region, qualified for the state Class A/AA tournament for the fourth time in five years with a 4-0 win at Summertown Friday in Sectionals.
The Wildcats (17-1) are led by defending state champ Michael Yokosuk, who has signed with Lee University, and Matt Comp. Comp turned down a scholarship offer and will complete his tennis career in the state. The Wildcats lost their first regular season match in five years recently, 6-3 to Ensworth.
CANTRELL MADE MARK: Regarding a recent published item about a high school athlete scoring all of the team’s points to win a state track championship in Texas, the feat also happened in Tennessee in 1984 by Larry Cantrell.
Glencliff High coach Glenn Falls points out that Cantrell, of old Goodlettsville High, won four events (100, 200, 400, long jump) for 40 points, leading the Trojans to the AA/A state track title in Nashville that that year when he was a junior.
Cantrell is one of the few athletes ever to have won the 100, 200 and 400 state titles all three of his varsity years. He also scored 30 points as a senior in 1985, but it wasn’t enough to give Goodlettsville a second straight crown.
BGA HALL OF FAME: O.J. Fleming (class of ’94), Stephanie Shouse Lane (’87) and George Plaster (’77) are being inducted into the BGA Hall of Fame at a June 14 dinner at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Franklin.
BRENTWOOD LACROSSE CHAMP: Brentwood High beat Father Ryan 6-4 last week at MBA to win the boys Division II state lacrosse championship. Travis Long scored a three-goal hat trick, half of Brentwood’s total, and was named offensive MVP. Goalkeeper David Catterton made 23 saves and was named defensive MVP for Brentwood (15-1). Daniel Lorance scored two goals for Ryan (11-3).
USN ALUM HONORED: Former University School of Nashville standout Zach Rodgers, a senior at the University of Chicago, was named University Athletic Association Athlete of the week. Rodgers won the triple jump event at Chicago’s Penultimate Invitational.