Preps: Sixteen-inning marathon serves as tournament prep for Lipscomb, Overton

Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 7:58pm

Nothing like a little extra baseball to get your team ready for the tournaments.

Fans more than got their money’s worth but also lost a little bit of sleep last Thursday when Lipscomb Academy edged Overton 1-0 in a16-inning marathon at Lipscomb University’s Dugan Field. The game didn’t end until after 11 p.m.

“It was an unbelievable game, both sides had great pitching,” veteran Lipscomb coach Ernie Smith said. ”Just when you thought one team would score, the other team would come up with a great play. There were great defensive plays by both teams, a lot of them highlight-reel types.

“Overton’s centerfielder made three of the greatest catches I’ve ever seen, one of them on a head-long diving play. And he threw a laser to home plate to put out our runner in extra innings which would have been the winning run.”

Most of the masterful pitching came from Overton’s Trey Hatcher and Lipscomb senior Alex Miller. Miller struck out 13 batters and walked none in the 12 innings he worked. Hatcher struck out 10 and walked one.

Relievers took over in the later innings.

Although on the losing end, Overton coach Mike Morrison admired the type of game he stayed up late watching — especially the pitching.

“I don’t think either pitcher gave up a hit through seven innings," Morrison said. “Both guys were really sharp.

“A lot of fans like to see the home runs and a lot of runs scored, watching the big numbers put up. But I think a game like Thursday is just as exciting in how outstanding the pitchers were and the defensive plays that were made.”

Senior Isaac Phillips finally ended to the four-hour affair when his grounder scored Wesley Culpepper, who had reached on an error.

“We made three errors in the 16th or we could have kept playing,” Morrison said. “I can’t ever remember as a coach being part of a game that went 16 innings."

Lipscomb (14-8) can lock up another District 10-AA title Monday afternoon when it visita Christ Presbyterian Academy at 4 p.m.

If CPA wins, the Lions force a three-way tie for first. Lipscomb is 7-0, Hume-Fogg has finished its district schedule at 7-1 and CPA is 6-1. If the three-way tie occurs, a coin flip determines the champion.

The district tournament opens Tuesday with a play-in game, followed Thursday afternoon with more play-in games. The double-elimination part of the event commences next Monday with games at Shelby Park and at Rose Park.

Overton (21-9) is again the top seed for the District 12-AAA baseball tournament, which opens Thursday with play-in games. The following Monday, that tournament continues Overton’s Tucker Field.

Briefly

• Franklin Road Academy sophomore pitcher Casey Queener added a 3-2 win over Lipscomb on Friday to the perfect game he threw last Monday against Zion Christian.

FRA scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to beat Lipscomb, which perhaps was tired from the Mustangs’ marathon game of the night before. Lipscomb did out-hit FRA 8-3.

Prior to the game, the FRA 1988 state championship team and family members were honored on the 25th anniversary of the milestone. George Weicker was the coach and he still coaches the Panthers and is in his 28th season.

FRA (21-4) finished unbeaten in the Division II-A Middle/East Region (10-0) and will be top seed for the tournament which opens Monday afternoon.

• Ezell-Harding will host the DII-A Middle/East softball tournament next Monday at Freudenthal Field. The tournament begins with play-in games this week.

• Louisville St. Xavier won the 39th annual Carter Invitational tennis tournament on the Montgomery Bell Academy courts after heavy rains Saturday canceled the final day of play. St. X, which led after Friday’s play with 12 points, finished ahead runner-up Memphis University School with 10. Host MBA was third with 9½ in the seven-team tournament.

• Host Harpeth Hall (girls) and MBA (boys) won the Hill Center Relays Friday on the Harpeth Hall track at the annual city championship track and field meet.

Hillsboro sprinter Janel Pate won the 100 and 200-meter races and ran on the Burros’ winning 400 and 800 relay teams. Pate and Jada Curbeam of East Nashville shared outstanding girl athlete honors after Curbeam won the long jump, triple jump and high jump during field events.

Ensworth’s Xavier Forrest (shot put win, second in discus) and MBA’s Eric Anderson (3,200 meter win, second in 1,600) shared outstanding boy athlete honors.

Harpeth Hall scored 146 points, far ahead of runner-up Hillsboro, 63. MBA racked up 103 points, well ahead of Ensworth, 67.

• The Charlie Harper Relays will be held 3:30 p.m. (field events) and 5 p.m. (running events) Friday at the Brentwood Academy track. The annual event is named for the long-time Eagle track and field coach.