Wallace Gibson Leads McCallie Past Catholic, 3-2

Senior First Baseman Drives In All Three Runs In Region Win

  • Tuesday, March 28, 2023
  • John Hunt

There’s nothing quite like playing on your home field.

The McCallie Blue Tornado won a close 1-0 game over Bradley in the first game of the Joe Adams Memorial tournament last week before losing three straight.

That losing streak was extended to four in a 7-4 lost at Knoxville Catholic on Monday before a 13-3 win in the second game evened their record at 5-5.

Now they are 6-5 with a two-game winning streak after rallying for a 3-2 victory over the Fighting Irish on Tuesday evening at McCallie’s Kenny Sholl Stadium.

It was a nice day for baseball, although the temperatures were a bit cooler than they have been.  And a gusting win made it downright chilly when the sun went down in the later innings.

But on a day when starting pitchers Cooper Williamson (Catholic) and Hudson Calhoun (McCallie) both pitched well enough to win, neither of them were involved in the decision.

McCallie coach Tim Costo was just happy to see his team battle back to win in a game that could have gone either way.

“Wallace had a timely hit and I’m really happy for him as he’s a senior and has worked really hard.  Hudson was pretty solid as he had good control of his pitches and only made one mistake.

“And I’m really proud of Nolan Bernard, who came in and got the win with two perfect innings.  He’s also throwing the ball well and he wants the ball in close games.

“It wasn’t the prettiest win, but it’s a region game and we’ll take it,” Costo added.

Catholic coach Caleb Moore would have liked a different outcome, but he couldn’t fault the effort his kids put forth.

“That was just a great high school baseball game to watch.   We had our chances and that’s all I can ask for.  We knew it would be a tough series as they’re the defending state champions, but they had to score two runs in the sixth to beat us,” Moore said after his team had dropped to 8-4 overall and 1-2 in region play.

McCallie, now 6-5 with its second straight win and 2-1 in region play, took the lead in the second when Calhoun doubled down the line in left and went to third on a wild pitch.

Bryce Sanders then walked with one out before Gibson drove a sacrifice fly to left to drive in Calhoun.

That 1-0 score remained until the fourth and that’s when Catholic took the lead.

Hudson Lutterman reached on a McCallie throwing error before Ian Hubbard ripped the first pitch over the fence in right for a two-run homer.

The Irish had another chance in the top of the fifth as Calhoun issued back-to-back walks to Ben Sompayrac and Miller Spence.

The hard-throwing righty was more than up for the challenge as he struck out Williamson and Daniel Parris for the first two outs before getting Lutterman on a pop to catcher Zach Porter.

Nolan Sergeant led off the McCallie sixth by walking and went to second when Nick Gibson got hit by a pitch.  Both scored when Wallace Gibson ripped a two-run double to the fence in left.

Catholic left fielder Richie DeLaCruz initially broke toward home, but quickly changed direction as the ball was clearly over his head.  The two go-ahead runs scored without a problem as Gibson strolled into second with the game-winning hit.

Bernard, who is just a sophomore, was lights out in his two innings as he struck out five of the six hitters he faced, including the side in the seventh to clinch the win.

McCallie finished with four hits, including one each from Sebastian Leinberger, Reece Jordan, Calhoun and Wallace Gibson.

Hubbard had two of Catholic’s three hits and drove in both runs.  Williamson’s two-out double in the third was the other.

Calhoun wasn’t involved in the decision, but was really good as he allowed two runs on three hits in five innings.  He also had 11 strikeouts and walked two.

McCallie will be on the road again this weekend as they travel to Murfreesboro to participate in the Riverdale Warrior Classic at Siegel High School where they play a double-header on Friday.

Another road game at Knoxville Webb on Monday will be followed by a double-header at McCallie Tuesday.

KNOX CATHOLIC  000 200 0 – 2 3 1

McCALLIE  010 002 x – 3 4 2

Williamson, Camfield (6) and Evans; Calhoun, Barnard (6) and Porter.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)

 

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