One of the more unlikely candidates to win the region baseball championship at the start of this week would have been White House High.
Yet, with two shutout victories, the Blue Devils took the Region 5-AA trophy back to their Sumner County home Wednesday after a 6-0 victory in the championship game over host David Lipscomb.
With lights-out pitching, the Blue Devils followed up a masterful shutout by ace Aussie Light in a 13-0 romp over CPA Monday with another top showing by Jeffrey Bennett in the win over Lipscomb. The Devils outscored the two Nashville teams 19-0.
“I can’t say enough about our pitching,” ninth-year White House coach Mike Mills said. “Aussie was great Monday, and Jeffrey won’t wow you with his speed, but he was effective (against Lipscomb). He really hit his spots.”
Bennett (4-4) and Zach Byrd combined to scatter nine hits. Bennett allowed seven, struck out four and walked four. Byrd pitched the seventh and worked out of a bases-loaded jam to preserve the shutout.
Byrd and Nat Rogers had two hits each.
“I was all over the place, but my defense pulled me out of several jams,” Bennett, who also went 1-for-3 scoring a run, said. “My changeup helped me out some. The defense came up with several big plays.”
Losing pitcher Cody Connally deserved better. He gave up seven hits, struck out 12, including at least one in every inning, and walked six. He retired the last seven men he faced.
Lipscomb actually outhit White House 9-7 (Pete Trollinger had three for the Mustangs) but couldn’t get the big one. It left 11 men on base.
“It just wasn’t our day,” Lipscomb coach Ernie Smith said. “We put the ball in play but just hit it right at people. Cody finished strong, but we had some real defensive lapses.”
The loss followed a two-hit, 84-pitch shutout masterpiece by Lipscomb junior Keith Smith in a stunning 2-0 semis win over Goodpasture on Monday. Smith and senior Clay Fuson each had two hits Wednesday.
In the AA Sectionals Friday, Lipscomb (15-18) will visit the Spring Hill-Giles County winner, and White House (22-16) will host the loser.
Light (8-1) is the expected starter. With a win, White House can move back to state for the first time since 2000 – the year the Devils went 32-4 and won the state title.
“It’s been too long a drought,” Bennett said. “Maybe we can close things out this time.”
Upcoming in baseball: BGA visits two-time defending Brentwood Academy on Thursday in the first game of a DII best-of-three series. The winner advances to state next week.
Softball: Ezell-Harding opens a best-of-three series against Fayette Academy, 5 p.m. Thursday at 5 p.m. at Freudenthal Field. Winner qualifies for state.
Soccer: CPA and Hume-Fogg Academic, winners in their semifinal games Tuesday night, will clash at 7 p.m. Thursday at CPA for the Region 5-A/AA championship. Both have qualified for sectionals, which are Saturday.
Brentwood High seeks its eighth straight Region 6-AAA title when the Bruins play at Centennial on Thursday.
MBA hosts McCallie 6 p.m. Friday in the DII Sectionals, with that winner qualifying for state.
Tennis: Centennial junior Kaylene Chadwell and Ravenwood’s Sean Karl won the Region 6-AAA girls and boys singles championships, respectively, on Tuesday, as each their district crowns of a week ago.
Chadwell is the younger sister of Ian Chadwell, a three-time boys state singles champion from Centennial, who signed with Alabama last year. Both players qualified for next week’s state singles.
On Friday, MBA hosts St. Benedict (2 p.m.), in DII team sectionals with the Big Red taking aim at another trip to state. MBA suffered a 4-3 loss to Baylor recently, the Big Red’s lone setback of the season.
On Saturday, the Ensworth boys visit Baylor, the Ensworth girls are at GPS, and Harpeth Hall visits St. Agnes in team matches.
Track and Field: Running event finals in the A/AA Midstate sectional meet are 6 p.m. Thursday at the David Lipscomb track. The ML King boys, defending state champs, and girls, are leading after field events and are favored to win their divisions.
MBA hosts DII Sectional running event finals, 6 p.m. Friday.