Amos Doesn't Flinch, Leads Trojans Into 5-AAA Baseball Title Game

Escapes Seventh-Inning Jam And Soddy-Daisy Beats East Hamilton, 3-2

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

Soddy-Daisy baseball coach Jared Hensley has no doubt who the best pitcher in District 5-AAA has been this season.

Christian Amos.

Amos proved Hensley’s point Tuesday against East Hamilton in the district tournament loser’s bracket final.

The smooth-throwing right-hander, unbeaten and with an ERA below 1.00, pitched out of a bases-loaded, no out jam in the seventh inning and preserved Soddy-Daisy’s 3-2 victory that advanced the Trojans to Wednesday afternoon’s championship game against Bradley Central.

With the bases jammed with Hurricanes, Amos struck out Nicholas Woods and Hunter Owen and induced a 6-4 fielder’s choice from Nick Fahler to seal the hard-fought win at Ooltewah High’s A.C. “Bud” Ball Field.

“I think that performance, and all of us already knew it, solidified the fact that Christian Amos has a great heart,” Trojans coach Jared Hensley said. “He’s had an unbelievable year. There’s no doubt in my mind, and I know I’m biased, that Christian is the best pitcher in our league.”

The Trojans (20-15) and Bradley Central (20-11) clash Wednesday at 4 p.m. for the championship and home-field advantage for the Region 3-AAA semifinals. Soddy-Daisy would have to beat the Bears twice to win the title.

The “if necessary” game would be played 30 minutes after the first.

The loss ended East Hamilton’s season at 22-14. The Hurricanes went into the tournament as the regular-season champion and No. 1 seed.

“This loss was heartbreaking for our kids,” Hurricanes coach Steve Garland said. “Christian Amos was outstanding. What’s so remarkable is that you see a lot of pitchers with good stuff, but he’s got great character because he didn’t flinch in an incredibly pressure-packed situation.”

Garland, the former Soddy-Daisy baseball coach, felt good about his team’s chances to pull out a win after Garett Stone singled, Hunter Parker doubled and Matt Milita was hit by a pitch to load the bases to start the seventh.

But Hensley had one thought running through his mind as East Hamilton pitcher Nicholas Woods, a promising freshman, came to the plate.

“I didn’t want anybody else in the game in that situation other than Christian,” Hensley said.

So, he stuck with Amos.

And why not?

“He’s given up only two earned runs this season and East Hamilton got both of them,” Hensley said. “In fact, the only runs he’s allowed have been against East Hamilton. I was sitting there thinking as much as I wanted him in the game, if it doesn’t go our way he certainly deserved better. A moment like that for him was unbelievable.”

The senior, who recently committed to Cleveland State Community College, is now -0 with a miniscule 0.56 ERA.

East Hamilton’s runs came in the third when Parker doubled and Woods singled him home and the sixth when Hunter Owen singled, Fahler doubled and Quinn Griffith’s squeeze bunt scored Owen.

Soddy-Daisy came up with single runs in the second and third.

In the second, Gavin Rogers doubled and Caden Ricketts’ single produced the game’s first run. Tre Carter singled in the third, stole second and eventually scored on Austin Hickey’s sacrifice fly.

What proved to be the game winner came in the top of the sixth when Ricketts walked, moved to third on an infield error and scored on Cale Morgan’s clutch double.

“Our guys really battled,” Garland said, “and I was pleased with their effort. Nicholas Woods kept us in the game and Matty Henshaw pitched the seventh. When you hold a good-hitting team to three runs, you probably feel good about your chances.

“But they had Amos. I’m happy for Jared and those guys on that staff up there. I coached those guys. It hurts bad for our guys because they laid it on the line and fought through adversity the entire season.”

Hensley feels for Garland.

“I wouldn’t be coaching at Soddy-Daisy if not for Steve,” he said. “This win is bitter sweet.”

SUMMARY

Soddy-Daisy                           011 001 0 – 3 7 2

East Hamilton                        001 001 0 – 2 7 1

Amos and Clift; Woods, Henshaw (7) and Fahler.

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

 


Klaus Named Lee University Softball Assistant

Andrew Klaus has accepted the position of assistant softball coach at Lee University and he becomes the university’s first full-time assistant softball coach. The native of Clarkston, Mich. served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma Panhandle State University for one year before moving to East Central University and serving as the Oklahoma school’s assistant coach for the past ... (click for more)

UTC Women's Football Clinic A Success

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head football coach Russ Huesman and his wife, Amy, hosted the fifth annual Women’s Football Clinic at Finley Stadium Friday evening.  The event helps fund Huesman's Huddle, a very popular allotment of tickets donated by Mocs fans, alumni and supporters that are used to provide free admission to home football games to underprivileged ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

WTCI Says Fleischmann Ad Included Unauthorized Use Of Logo

Officials of WTCI TV said a Chuck Fleischmann TV ad contained an unauthorized use of the public TV station's logo. Officials stated in a letter to WTCI viewers: "We understand that members of our community may have received a printed communication from the Chuck Fleischmann for Congress Committee featuring the headline "Weston Wamp Supports Amnesty for Illegal Immigration." ... (click for more)

Cell Phones And Roundabouts

I read the article written by Chris Morgan about the use of cell phones in vehicles and the Chattanooga Roundabouts. Cell phone use in vehicles especially in crisis intersection situations is extremely dangerous. I also agree with his assessment about the roundabouts. One problem I see with roundabouts is that on the two-lane roundabouts where they are coming in from ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Wrongs Not Right

Scottie Mayfield is a delightful friend of mine but he’s the last guy in the world who should be aiming at anybody’s character. He’s always had class but today Scottie is the “star” of a shameful political commercial in which he assails challenger Weston Wamp on behalf of a panicked Chuck Fleischmann. Mayfield, you’ll remember, ran against the two in the last race for the District ... (click for more)