Baylor, McCallie Whip Memphians; To Meet In DII-AA Winner's Bracket Final

Red Raiders Drop MUS, 2-0; Blue Tornado Edges Christian Brothers, 3-2

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

LEBANON, Tenn. – Baylor and McCallie swept Memphis opponents Tuesday night in the Division II-AA state baseball tournament at Wilson Central High School.

The Red Raiders (23-10) got a four-hit shutout from freshman Gavin Roberson and two bases-loaded walks in a 2-0 victory over University School.

The Blue Tornado (26-10) got past defending champion Christian Brothers, 3-2, behind the strong four-hit pitching of Elliott Dockery.

The long-time Chattanooga rivals now square off on Wednesday in the winner’s bracket final at 1:30 p.m., again at Wilson Central, located about 30 miles north of Murfreesboro on Highway 840.

“That’s never happened in the state tournament,” Baylor coach Gene Etter said. “In our regular season series they were the top team in our region and we swept them in a three-game series. From their viewpoint, they’ve got a chance to wipe out those three games with a win against us tomorrow.”

McCallie coach Greg Payne said he wasn’t thinking so much about Baylor as paying close attention to his own team.

“We always try to focus on what us rather than who we’re playing,” Payne said. “If we do the things well that we do well we’ll be fine against anybody we play. While Baylor has gotten hot in recent games, we still have to focus on us.”

Payne said he will start Tyler Payne in Wednesday’s game.

Etter was fretting over who he would pitch in the second round after hearing “bad news” from Andrew Belcher.

“Andrew hurt his shoulder and he told me tonight he didn’t think he could pitch (Wednesday),” the veteran Red Raiders coach said. “He wasn’t himself the last game he pitched against Pope John Paul in the opening game of that series.”

The Red Raiders and Tornado played well Wednesday.

Roberson, a diminutive 5-foot-6, 127-pound right-hander with a sneaky fastball and tantalizing breaking ball, was brilliant against the Owls while striking out four and walking two.

“That’s my game,” said Roberson, who is from Ringgold, Ga. “I don’t overpower anybody and just place my pitches and throw as many groundballs as possible. I’ve had a size disadvantage my whole life, but I’ve learned to deal with it.”

University School never solved Roberson’s pitches, although Baylor’s defense came up with some solid plays behind the youngster.

And Roberson tuned up for his state tournament debut by saving two games and winning another in a starting role in the McCallie series. And when Pope John Paul beat Baylor in a series opener, Roberson won the second game and the Red Raiders won Game 3 to take the series 2-1.

That made Etter’s decision to start Roberson against MUS much easier.

“I’m going to throw the guy who is doing the best regardless of what grade he might be in,” Etter said. “Gavin was our best pitcher in preseason and pitched a great game against Mt. Juliet in our first game of the season in the Scenic City Classic.

“Then there was a stretch where he struggled and I took him out of the rotation because he lost his location. Since he got a second chance he’s been money in the bank.”

Baylor catcher Blake Layne said Roberson was on his game against the Owls.

“He threw an excellent game,” Layne said. “He was locating well and that’s what you expect from him. He won’t overpower people, but he will kill them with accuracy.”

Baylor scored the game’s only two runs in the third inning.

Hunter Holland and Alex Armstrong drew bases-loaded walks to force in the runs.

“Both of those walks were on 3-2 counts and with two outs,” Etter said. “Both those hitters deserve credit for being disciplined at the plate.”

Baylor had only four hits off left-hander Colton Neel, who was hurt with nine walks.

Dockery was working on a shutout through five innings, but was roughed up for two runs in the sixth after the Blue Tornado went up 3-0 with two runs in the fifth.

Coach Payne decided to bring in Tyler Payne to pitch the seventh. Payne retired the Owls in order, including one strikeout, to get the save.

“Christian Brothers is the defending state champion (the Owls have won 11 state titles, six since 2000), with a lot of tradition and a lot of college prospects, and we needed to play nearly a flawless game and we almost did that,” Greg Payne said. “I was very pleased with our execution.”

McCallie broke through against Neel for a run in the fourth.

Christian Burnett led off with a double and Tons Ferguson came in to run for him. Ferguson eventually scored from third on Drew Vaughn’s squeeze bunt.

In the fifth, Spencer Morgan reached on an error, John Hennen ripped a RBI triple and Burnett, on a 10-pitch at-bat, has a sacrifice fly to give McCallie a 3-0 lead.

Burnett and Winston Whitener each had two hits for the Blue Tornado.

Now McCallie turns its attention to Wednesday’s game.

“We have to play better against them than the last time,” Payne said.

SUMMARIES

Christian Brothers                           000 002 0 – 2 4 0

McCallie                                           000 120 x – 3 7 0 

Durham and Grisanti; Dockery, Payne (7) and Burnett.

University School                            000 000 0 – 0 4 1

Baylor                                              002 000 x – 2 3 0

Neel and Hunt; Roberson and Layne.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)






Lee Hosts Kay McDaniel Tennis Clinic

The 27th annual Kay McDaniel Summer Tennis Clinic, held at Lee University, concluded with nearly 400 participants. Children ages 6-13 came from 25 cities to learn from director Kay McDaniel and 43 other instructors. According to Ms. McDaniel, participants not only learned how to play tennis, but were taught life skills and Christian principles that will impact their lives off ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Swim League

CHATTANOOGA AREA SWIM LEAGUE BLUE DIVISION: 1. Ooltewah 5-0; 1. Stuart Heights 3-1; 3. Signal Mountain 3-2; 4. Dalton 1-4; 5. Calhoun 0-5. RED DIVISION: 1. Catoosa  4-0; 2. Country Club 4-1; 3. Fairyland 2-2; 4. Cleveland 1-3; 5. Big Ridge 0-5. WHITE DIVISION: 1. Red Bank and Waterdogs bot 4-1; 3. Ridgeside 2-3; 4. Cumberland 0-5.  TUESDAY'S RESULTS ... (click for more)

UTC's College Of Business Receives $40 Million, The Biggest Gift In School History

The largest philanthropic gift in the history of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has been made to the University’s College of Business by Gary W. Rollins and Kathleen Rollins of Atlanta. This historic, $40-million gift also marks the first college to be named at UTC. The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees, at its annual meeting in Knoxville on Friday, voted ... (click for more)

2 Chattanoogans Were Among 3 People Killed In Collision With Train In McMinn County

Two Chattanoogans were among three people killed when a car was struck by a train in McMinn County on Thursday afternoon. The Ford Fusion that was hit was driven by Wendy M. Humphreys, 45, of Chattanooga. She was not wearing a seat belt. Johnny M. Ashworth, 46, of Chattanooga was one of the passengers. Jasmine Ashworth was also in the car. She and Johnny Ashworth had on ... (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Not A Blessed One

When I read, to no great surprise, that 132 of Chattanooga’s “leaders” had signed a letter in support of “socioeconomic integration” in Thursday’s Times Free Press, there were two things that were immediately obvious to me: Not a blessed one would have (a) written such a letter on their personal stationery, and (b) not a blessed one would have ever voted for the current president ... (click for more)