At the halfway point of the baseball season, it is clear that Montgomery Bell Academy is a ‘Factor’ in the DII region race.
That’s because the Big Red has Lawson Factor as the ace of the pitching staff. Thanks to Lawson’s complete-game, three-hitter, MBA scored a 6-1 DII Middle/East Region victory over rival Father Ryan on Thursday at the Irish field.
“I didn’t have all my stuff, and I would say the fastball was my best pitch,” Factor, a sophomore who improved to 3-0, said. “I just kind of toughed it out. Not my best game, but I’m just glad we won.”
Factor allowed an unearned run in the bottom of the first, then gave up just two hits the rest of the game. He finished with three walks and three strikeouts.
MBA remained atop the region at 6-1 (9-3 overall). Ryan fell to 4-6 and 6-9, with the second game of the three-game series set for Friday afternoon at MBA. Jody Gorham (2-0) will pitch for MBA against Ryan’s Andrew Townes (2-1). The third game is Monday back at Ryan. MBA also will host Dickson County 10 a.m. Saturday.
Second baseman Mason Foote led a nine-hit MBA attack by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs, scored once and reached base all four times.
“I just got my bat on the ball and got lucky a couple of times,” Foote, is one of five MBA seniors, said. “This game came down to everyone contributing. Everyone wants to finish the season strong. We had a disappointing ending last year, falling far short of where we wanted to go. We want to start out the second half of the season on a strong note.”
After Alex Kohls scored on James Kay’s double in the first, Foote singled in Brooks Best who led off the second with a double. That gave MBA the lead for good, 2-1, then Foote scored on a balk later in the inning.
Foote capped the scoring by ripping a two-run single to left in the seventh. Best, a sophomore, added two hits and scored two runs, and Kay added a double and single.
“Everybody in the region is tough,” 10th year MBA coach Thomas Wims said. “You have Brentwood Academy with all their history, BGA is strong, Ensworth and Ryan are certainly there, and JPII is very good this year. You just can’t look too far ahead.”
Ryan tied the game at 1-1 in the first when shortstop Nick Dmochowski singled, advanced on an error and scored on designated hitter Stephen Byrne’s RBI groundout.
“We just flat got beat,” coach Mike Mascari said. “Their pitcher [Factor] did a good job, and we made a lot of ground ball outs.”
Losing pitcher Marshall Ussery had a good game, walking three and striking six, including striking out the side in his final inning.
• Moss-Oliver award finalists: The finalists for the annual Moss-Oliver awards have been announced. They include: Jacob Turner, Lipscomb; Jordan Kendrick, M.L.King, and Blake Mitchell, Ezell-Harding (boys), along with Andrea Kinzer, Whites Creek; Dominique Hannah, Overton and Erika Cook, Hunters Lane (girls).
The winners will be announced following an 11:30 a.m. luncheon Wednesday at Swett’s Restaurant.