MURFREESBORO – When the dust all settled, two teams in Davidson County were the only ones left standing.
Senior Tyler Lovell’s two-run, sixth-inning triple sparked Goodpasture to a 7-5 win over scrappy Marion County at Smyrna High Thursday.
And Kyle Lehning belted a key two-run double, then capped a three-run second by scoring himself as Lipscomb held on for a 5-3 win over Bolivar at Blackman High. It completed a sweep of the Tigers Thursday, as, just as they did in the district tournament, the Mustangs (34-8) roared out of the losers bracket.
The rivals will meet in the Class AA state championship game today at 2 at Lipscomb’s University’s Dugan Field. Goodpasture beat Lipscomb 8-1 in a previous meeting last month.
“This is great for Middle Tennessee baseball. The fans will really get into it,’’ said Goodpasture senior catcher Bennett Smith.
None of the Goodpasture’s previous six state baseball championships came back-to-back, but the defending state champs can repeat with a win today in the finals.
Goodpasture (37-4) led just 3-2 in the sixth when the momentum of the game swung on one pitch. That came after it appeared the umpire had rung up Turner Cripps on a third strike and the players ran off the field to end the Cougar sixth.
But the count was only 2-2 and, after the umpires huddled, Marion County’s players returned to the field, and Cripps wound up walking.
“It was just 2-2,’’ Cripps said, “and they made the right call. It was big, because Tyler really came through for us.’’
No. 9 man William Potts followed with an RBI single, then Lovell hit a slicing liner down the right-field line, scoring two, then he scored himself when the throw got away, making it 7-2.
The Cougars need the runs when Marion County got three runs back in its half before relievers Chris Ellis and lefty Jake McWhirter closed it out.
“He’d been starting me off with a curve ball, and I went with the pitch, hitting it the opposite way,’’ Cripps said. “The championship game is what we’ve been looking forward to all year. Hopefully we’ll make history.’’
“We caught a bit of a break, but the umpires made the right call,’’ said Goodpasture coach Richie Estep. “Our seniors came through again. Turner, William, also Bennett throwing out that runner at second, all made big plays.’’
However, one key senior won’t be on the field. Cougar pitching ace Adam Adkins, who never lost a game in high school, fractured his right wrist in a semis win Wednesday and will miss his team’s final games. “I’ll be there cheering for them,’’ he said.
BA WINS: Junior D.J. Luna lined a one-out, two-run, game-winning double down the right-field line in the bottom of the seventh, giving Brentwood Academy a 9-8 DII-AA state championship win over Baylor at Lipscomb U.
The hit capped miraculous week by the Eagles (27-16) who had to win four games out of the losers bracket in three days, including two over Baylor Thursday, 14-4 in the first game. They knocked out DII region champ BGA Wednesday. It was BA’s first state baseball title since 1997.
DAVIDSON FALLS: Harding Academy’s Fletcher Parker scored on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh to beat Davidson Academy 4-3 in the DII-A finals.
“In our 29 innings at state, we only had three good offensive innings,’’ said DA coach Jim Carter, whose team ended 34-9. “But looking at the big picture, we had great year, and we have the nucleus of a really good team coming back.’’
SOFTBALL: In AA, Goodpasture’s girls joined their baseball classmates in the finals with a 3-0 win over Knox Gibbs. Devon Schmidt fired a one-hitter, striking out 16 and Kelsey Cartwright smashed a two-run homer. The Cougars play the winner of today’s Gibbs-Unicoi winner tonight at 6 at Murfreesboro Starplex for the title.
In AAA, Cherokee scored a run without a hit in the first, just enough to edge Brentwood High 1-0, ending the Bruins’ season. Both teams got but one hit.
“We had a great run,’’ said Bruin coach Jamie Chiariello. “I’m so proud of them. We lose five wonderful seniors, who I will really miss.’’
TRACK: Behind hurdler Brielle Moore, Pearl-Cohn won the state Class A/AA girls track and field championships Thursday night on the MTSU track. Moore was second in the 100 hurdles and fourth in the 300s, and the Tigers placed in all relay events. They scored 76½ points, while MLK and Lipscomb finished fourth and seventh.
Knox West edged out Hunters Lane for the girls AAA championship, 94 points to 85, but the Warriors’ Stacia Hannemna won both the 200 and 400 races. Hillsboro’s Quanisha Sales won the 100 and was second in the 200.
Baylor easily won the DII title with 138½, while Ensworth was a distant second with 101 and Brentwood Academy third at 83½. Webb’s Glory Johnson, USN’s Jordan Lavender and Ensworth’s Anna Bowers finished 1-2-3 in both the 100 and 200 races.
HUSSEY HOOP MEET: The third annual Bobby Hussey Nike Memorial Day Classic, featuring some of the nation’s top high school basketball players, will be held Saturday through Monday at Vanderbilt and Ensworth Gyms.
The event features 31 of the top 150 junior prospects, among them Tennessee commitment Kenny Hall. Two Tennessee teams, the Travelers, who have Maplewood’s Robert Wade, and Memphis YOMCA, are competing among the 64 teams from around the country. The 15-under and 16-under divisions will be held at Vanderbilt, the 17-under division at Ensworth. Semis and finals are at Ensworth Monday. Admission is $10. For info, go to www.memorialdayclassic.com.
NEW COACHES: Two new boys basketball coaches have been hired at Nashville Metro schools. James McKee has been named the coach at Overton High, replacing Romie Reid, who resigned to take the same job at the new Cane Ridge High. And Steven Dodd has been named coach at Hillwood High, replacing Chris Hooper who accepted the boys coaching job at Portland High last month.