Two Games Start District 5-AAA Baseball Tourney Today

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

The next phase of the 2013 high school baseball season begins today for District 5-AAA schools.

It’s an opportunity for redemption for some teams.

It’s a chance to solidify what has been a highly successful seasons for others.

It is district tournament time, with Soddy-Daisy serving as host team this week.

Two games kick off the tournament today – No. 4 seed Cleveland (14-19) takes on No. 5 Rhea County (10-14) at 4 p.m. and No. 3 Bradley Central (19-11) plays No. 6 McMinn County (5-23) at approximately 7 p.m. in the nightcap.

On Thursday, top-seed Ooltewah (20-11), the regular season champion after winning 10 of 12 league games, awaits the Cleveland-Rhea winner for an 8 p.m. showdown. At 5 p.m., No. 2 Walker Valley (18-13) plays No. 7 Soddy-Daisy (8-21).

“I’m proud of the kids, but we’ve still got the district tournament to go,” Mustangs coach Joe Shamblin said. “I might not be so proud after that, but they’ve exceeded our expectations this year.”

In 2012, Ooltewah and Walker Valley wound up in the championship round.

The Mustangs won, 4-0, to force a second game to decide the title.

The Owls won that one, 8-0, behind Drew Williams’ stellar pitching performance and a 13-hit attack to give coach Brian Hitchcox his second district tournament championship.

This time around the Owls are loaded with the district’s best pitching staff, at least on paper, with the one-two punch of Zach Thompson and Jackson McClain leading the way.

In the wings are Kevin Dupree, Williams, Jared Ryan and Logan Fugate.

Yet, Hitchcox isn’t that content heading into the tournament.

“I’m really not satisfied with anything,” he said. We try to get better every day, make small improvements throughout the season and, hopefully, we’re better now than at the beginning or middle of the season.”

After winning the 2012 title, Ooltewah played Warren County in the Region 3-AAA semifinals, losing to the Pioneers, 4-3, in nine innings. Warren County faced Thompson, McClain and Dupree in that game.

Sophomore shortstop Logan Underhill’s run-scoring single in the ninth decided the game and ended the Owls’ season.

The Owls lived with the Warren County loss throughout the offseason and that helped motivate his players to get more out of this season.

“I think some of our guys learned a lesson from that (game),” Hitchcox said. “It’s not like we took that game lightly and didn’t try as hard as we could. They just outplayed us.”

The Schedule

At Soddy-Daisy High School

Wednesday

4 p.m. – Cleveland vs. Rhea County

7 p.m. – Bradley Central vs. McMinn County

Thursday

5 p.m. – Walker Valley vs. Soddy-Daisy

8 p.m. – Ooltewah vs. Cleveland-Rhea winner

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)

 

 

 

 


UT To Implement New Bag Policy For All Athletic Venues

To enhance safety and expedite fan entry to athletic events, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is implementing new safety policies for fans bringing bags into all athletic venues, including Neyland Stadium, beginning in August. Only one clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one-gallon clear resealable plastic storage bag per person will ... (click for more)

Fair Announces Class 6A Preseason All-State Team

Murphy Fair has announced the Preseason All-State 6A football team in his magazine, Tennessee High School Football. When coaches were completing their survey for Fair's annual preseason high school football magazine this past spring, they were asked to vote for players in their own classification who were the best at what they do on the football field. To order a copy ... (click for more)

County Schools Receive Community Gift For Almost $1 Million To Fund Public School Bible History Program

Bible in the Schools presented a community gift for nearly $1 million to the Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) to reimburse 100 percent of the costs of funding a Bible history program in 18 public schools for the 2015–2016 academic year. Enrollment data for 2015–2016 reported 3,582 students in grades 6–12 elected to take a Bible history classes. “This gift from the ... (click for more)

DA's Office Defends Suspended Sentence In School Bus Driver Rape Case

The District Attorney's Office defended a controversial suspended sentence in a rape case involving a substitute county school bus driver. Prosecutor Jason Demastus said the victim, who was 15 years old at the time of the March 2015 incident, was in agreement on the plea and refused to testify against Alexander Rodriquez. Rodriguez, 34, last Thursday pleaded guilty to ... (click for more)

Make America Good Again - And Response

“No people can be great, who have ceased to be virtuous.”   Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Last week I witnessed first hand the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. As I observed the happenings within the Quicken Arena, the one theme that continued to pop up again and again, was  Make America Great Again .  Of course, that being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Jerika’s Last Dance

There is a horrifying disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2 that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. What happens is the nerve cells in a person’s brain stem and spinal cord slowly die and, without the ability to voluntarily control your muscles, your body withers away in one of the most painful ways you can imagine. Jerika Bolen, age 14, can’t stand it any longer, nor ... (click for more)