Baylor Tops McCallie Second Straight Night

Friday, May 2, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

It was Senior Night for Baylor Baseball and three soon-to-graduate teenagers made it a memorable night in a 4-3 triumph against visiting McCallie.

With one out in the top of the seventh and runners on first and third, McCallie's Johnny Hennen flied out to senior rightfielder Bryson Crimmins who then took a page from Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance and hit senior first baseman Alex Armstrong with the throw who in turn relayed to senior catcher Blake Layne who tagged out Tyson Buchanan trying to score for the game-ending out.

"We played error-free ball tonight which is important and had some timely hits in the sixth to help us re-gain the lead for good," said Baylor coach.

Baylor scored singles runs in the third and fourth for a 2-0 lead only to see McCallie starter Tyler Payne help himself with a 3-run homer in the fifth for a 3-2 lead.

The hosts re-took the lead for good with two more in the sixth and then used the aforementioned double play to secure the win.

Third Game: McCallie hosts Baylor Saturday at noon in the final regular season game for both teams.

Controversial Play: While the game was error free, it was not without controversy

In the Baylor third with a runner on second and two out, Red Raider pitcher Andrew Belcher hit a sharp ground ball to the right of the pitchers' mound which struck the umpire and bounced away from McCallie players allowing Hunter Mercer to score from second with the game's first run.

McCallie coach Greg Payne argued that a batted ball which hits the umpire before it reaches or passes near an infielder other than the pitcher is a dead ball and the runner goes back to his base (unless forced) and the batter is awarded first.  The umpires disagreed, let the original play stand and Baylor had its 1-0 lead.

Rule 5.09 F states what coach Payne argued to the umpire.

Rule 5.09(f) Comment: If a fair ball touches an umpire working in the infield after it has bounded past, or over, the pitcher, it is a dead ball. If a batted ball is deflected by a fielder in fair territory and hits a runner or an umpire while still in flight and then caught by an infielder it shall not be a catch, but the ball shall remain in play.

Baylor did not score again in the inning.

Baylor 4th: The Red Raiders scored a second run on a passed ball allowing Layne to score from third and a 2-0 lead.

No Hitter and McCallie 5th: Baylor's Belcher took a no-hitter (three walks) into the fifth, but McCallie used Payne's one-out, 3-run home run to take a 3-2 lead.

Baylor 6th: Bryceson Mercer and Crimmins had back-to-back singles, followed by two hit batsman forcing in the tying run. Armstrong's sacrifice fly drove in what proved to be the game-winning run.

McCallie 7th: Buchannon opened with a double, took third on Payne's one out bunt single, but was thrown out to end the game on the aforementioned double play. 

Records and Playoffs: Baylor improves to 16-9 overall and 8-7 in the D-II Middle/East Region, while McCallie is 23-8 overall and 11-6 in region ... After Saturday's game, the top three in the Middle/East should be Father Ryan, McCallie and Pope John Paul and all receive first round playoff byes ... Baylor should be fourth in the seven team region and host a first round 2-of-3 game series.

Good McCallie Defense: In the Baylor first, McCallie third baseman Spencer Morgan made a diving catch of Belcher's bunt for the second out of the inning ... in the 6th, catcher Burnett dove to his left to catch a bunt by catcher Layne for the first out of the inning.

 Baylor 4, McCallie 3

McCallie 000 030 0  3-5-0

Baylor 001 102 x 4-7-0

Payne and Burnett; Belcher, Culpepper (5) and Layne

WP -  Davis Culpepper LP - Tyler Payne

Save - None

HR - Tyler Payne (McCallie)

2B - Tyson Buchannon (McCallie)

Multiple Hits: Bryceson Mercer (Baylor, 2); Tyler Payne (McCallie, 2)

Double Plays: Baylor (2)

Runners Left in Scoring Position: McCallie (2), Baylor (7)

Pitchers: McCallie - Tyler Payne .. Pitches (101) ... IP (6)  Hits (7)  Runs (4) Earned Runs (3)  Hit Batsmen (2) Wild Pitches (2)  Ks (6) Walks (4)

Baylor: Andrew Belcher ... Pitches (92) ... IP (4.2)  Hits (3)  Runs (3) Earned Runs (3) Ks (3) Walks (4)

Davis Culpepper ... Pitches (26) ... IP (2.1) Hits (2) Runs (0) Earned Runs (0)  Walks (1) Ks (1)

40 Years: Baylor Coach Gene Etter and his wifem Eddie, were honored before the game with a plaque recognizing their 40 years of leading Baylor baseball.

contact B.B. Branton at

Over 50 Race Teams Slated For Cleveland Speedway Saturday Night

The U.S. Legends INEX series based out of Charlotte, N.C. brought over 50 race teams from around the world this weekend for the "Fitzgerald Glider Kits" $20,000 "Dirt Nationals" at Cleveland Speedway. The three-day event culminates on Saturday night with feature races as well as a full show of United Crate Racing Alliance "Topless"  Late Models. The UCRA is expected ... (click for more)

McCallie's Pete Potter Remembered

On one of McCallie’s special nights, a myriad of former players and coaches gathered Friday night to honor and remember former Blue Tornado coach Pete Potter who coached the boys in blue from 1973 to 1993 with a school best win-loss record of 155-67. The school has now named the gridiron field Pete Potter Field at Bill Spears Stadium. On a rainy night, but a good one for the ... (click for more)

Man, 25, Shot While Riding In Car In Brainerd On Friday Night

A 25-year-old man was shot while riding in a car in Brainerd on Friday night. Police said Anthony Amey had non-life threatening injuries. At approximately 9:20 p.m., Chattanooga Police were notified of a gunshot wound victim being treated at a local hospital. Of ficers found that the shooting occurred at 500 South Germantown Road. T he victim stated he ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed To Death On Hooker Road; Man Injured; Suspect Being Interviewed

A young woman was stabbed to death on Hooker Road early Friday morning and a man was injured. At approximately 1:54 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a stabbing at the 4000 block of Hooker Road. There police located Angel Evans, 33, deceased. She was stabbed multiple times. A second person, Gerald Nelson, 24, was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening ... (click for more)

The Facts About Jail

Since Roy had such a positive reaction to Jeffrey Cross's wonderful (and wonderfully civil--how refreshing) email response to his column on the bike lanes, allow me to speak on the subject of the jail.  First off, Roy's right about some things:  It is overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed.  This is no secret, it's in the Grand Jury report every term.  Here's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Black Voice In Memphis

Tennessee got quite a peek at its political barometer Thursday night in Memphis when A.C. Wharton, a once-popular black leader who has been Mayor since 2009, was thoroughly trounced by Jim Strickland, currently on the City Council. Strickland, a white Democrat, may be the first step in bringing the now much-maligned West Tennessee city back to hope and reality. What no one can believe ... (click for more)