Bearden Thumps Silverdale, 11-0, In Ooltewah Invitational

Bulldogs' Thomas, Committed To Vols, Homers And Doubles

Friday, March 21, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

Silverdale Baptist Academy, which played in the Class A state championship last spring at Middle Tennessee State University, has taken on good competition before.

However, Bearden of Knoxville took that up a notch or two on Friday.

The Bulldogs blasted the Seahawks, 11-0, in the Ooltewah Invitational in a five-inning blowout at A.C. Bud Ball Field.

Silverdale shouldn’t be too hard on itself, though.

On Thursday night at Bradley Central High School, Bearden thumped Cleveland, 10-0, while losing to Bradley Central, 5-0.

“That’s a good team,” Seahawks coach Jonathan Adcock said of the Bulldogs. “Red Bank was a good team (Thursday) night and we lost 5-4, but battled hard. We know we’re playing teams that are up a level or two from us, but that’s going to make us better.”

Bearden was real good.

Lane Thomas, who has been committed to the University of Tennessee since his sophomore year, went 2-for-3, including a double and solo home run. He drove in two runs and scored three.

“I wanted to see some good pitching, be aggressive and get a few hits,” said Thomas, a smooth-fielding shortstop with a howitzer for an arm.

Thomas’ third homer of the season soared over the outfield fence in left-center with plenty to spare in the third inning, giving the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. He ripped a laser-shot double into the left-field corner in the first to score Andy Beam, who drew a one-out walk from Seahawks starter River Crowther, a freshman right-hander.

Thomas stole second and later scored on David Beam’s single.

“Lane is pretty good,” Bulldogs coach John Rice said. “It’s tough on him. He experiences a lot of days when guys won’t throw him a lot to hit. Today he watches a guy, identifies a pitch and drives an off-speed pitch out.

“He’s a great hitter that only helps our lineup. I know the guy hitting behind him gets a lot more opportunities because Lane is hitting in front of him.”

Silverdale, which went 29-4-1 and lost to Friendship Christian, 4-0, in last spring’s title game, was still in the game, although Bulldogs starter Brady Duncan, a right-handed sophomore, had kept them off the scoreboard through three innings despite yielding back-to-back one-out walks in the first and successive two-out singles to Colton Rogers and Noah Rogers in the second.

“Our pitchers were getting pitches up and their hitters were killing the ball,” Adcock said. “With their pitcher, everything he threw was consistently low. That’s a lesson for our pitchers. You must keep the pitch down and you’ll get ground ball after ground ball like (Duncan) did.

“When you get the ball up, you’ll get hurt.”

Crowther got into big-time trouble in the Bulldogs’ explosive fourth inning.

Josh Smith, Kyle Porritt and Conner Cameron each singled to start the uprising.

Leadoff batter Bryson Ford’s infield grounder forced out Cameron at second, but Smith scored on the play.

Andy Beam’s hit to left pushed Porritt and Ford across home plate. Thomas was intentionally walked.

Elijah Helton’s laced a grounder deep in the hole between third and shortstop and Seahawks shortstop Josiah Green fielded the ball. The throw hit Andy Beam in the helmet and he came home with the fourth run of the inning.

Thomas later scored on David Beam’s ground ball off reliever Alex Porter that Silverdale turned into a force out at second base. Duncan and Smith drew walks and Porritt, batting for the second time in the fourth, cleared the bases with a long double to center field to cap the scoring.

“If you want a guy you can call tough on our team, Kyle’s the guy,” Rice said. “He’s a tough kid and I’d take a hundred of him.”

Porritt went 2-for-3, scored a run and drove in three.

The Bulldogs (6-4), who beat host Ooltewah, 7-2, immediately after dropping the Seahawks (5-2), are 80-44 over the last three-plus seasons. They went 29-12 in 2012, losing to Arlington in the Class AAA state title game.

“Games like this will prepare us for district play,” Adcock said. “Every team in our district is really improved. There is a lot of parity in our district. Hopefully, playing teams like Bearden will give us an edge.”

Bearden                      201 80 – 11 8 0

Silverdale                   000 00 – 0 4 1

Duncan and Porritt; Crowther, Porter (4) and Brown.

Saturday’s Ooltewah Invitational Schedule

At Ooltewah High

Silverdale vs. Cleveland, 11 a.m.

Silverdale vs. Ooltewah, 1:30 p.m.

Franklin County vs. Ooltewah, 4 p.m.

Championship game (two winningest teams), 7:30 p.m.

At Red Bank High

Red Bank vs. Jackson North Side,  11 a.m.

Red Bank vs. Harriman, 4 p.m.

At Bradley Central High

Franklin County vs. Bradley Central, 11 a.m.

Sycamore vs. Bradley Central, 1:30 p.m.

Sycamore vs. Cleveland, 4 p.m.

At Soddy-Daisy High

Harriman vs. Soddy-Daisy, 11 a.m.

Upperman vs. Soddy-Daisy, 1:30 p.m.

Jackson North Side vs. Upperman, 4 p.m.

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


Dalton State Cross Country Teams To Run Saturday

Dalton State cross country teams will join more than 40 teams and an estimated 300-325 runners per gender that are expected Saturday morning as the University of South Carolina Beaufort’s home course, which starts and finishes on the Hardeeville school campus. Larry Kimball, USCB cross country coach, organized the Sand Shark Invitational 2007.  “We’ve created a monster,” ... (click for more)

Juster Takes Low-Pro Honors At Windstone

Gregg Juster shot 71 on Monday and took low-pro honors in the Chattanooga Chapter TN PGA Pro-Am at the Windstone Golf Club.  Monday's Results: Low Professional : 1st: (71) Gregg Juster 2nd: (77) Doug Amor Professional Skins: Gregg Juster #6, Doug Amor #12 & #17,  David Owens #!4 & #15 Amateur Skins: Jay Potter #1, Erik Atkinson #4, Jeff Ott #5, ... (click for more)

Jo Ann Cronan Charged With Bribing Voters In Polk County; Similar Probe Underway In Monroe County

A Polk County woman has been charged with bribing voters. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began an investigation on July 24 into allegations of illegal activities related to the August general election in Polk County. The investigation was commenced at the request of District Attorney General Stephen Crump. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, along with Calvin Rockholt, ... (click for more)

Westfield Charged In Burning, Torture Of Kitten At Cleveland

An arrest has been made in the case of a kitten who was burned and tortured in Cleveland, Tn. At 12:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Gary A. Westfield, 31, of Cleveland, was placed in custody on a warrant obtained by Lt. Robert Harbison and Detective Matt Jenkins of the Criminal Investigations Division. Westfield was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, which is a Class E felony. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)