Tennessee Headed To College World Series Title Game After 4-1 Win Over Aggies

Lee Baseball Closes Out Season In South Regional

  • Sunday, May 19, 2024

 The season ended for the Lee University baseball team with a loss to the top-ranked team in NCAA DII on Saturday afternoon at the UT Baseball Field. The Flames earned the right to face the host University of Tampa team for a second time after defeating Auburn Montgomery in an earlier game but fell short in a second attempt to try to defeat the Tampa club.

After winning the Gulf South Conference regular season title and being ranked fourth in the final South Region standings, the Flames earned the right to be one of the four teams selected for the South Regional tournament in Tampa, joining the host Spartans, Auburn Montgomery and Savannah State. After posting a pair of wins over AUM in the region and falling to Tampa twice, Lee’s final record stands at 39-18. The Spartans will advance in tournament play with an outstanding 46-7 mark.

Game 1 – Lee 8, AUM 7
In a contest that saw the game go back and forth until the Flames scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to advance with the win over the Warhawks. AUM jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning.

Lee came back and took its first lead (4-3) in the bottom of the fourth. Brandon Daniels and Riley Black singled. JJ Williams put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up and Brantley Cutler delivered a one-base hit that plated Daniels and Black. Luke Collier would walk and Jojo Miller would put down a bunt that went for a single. Cutler and Collier both scored in the inning.

The Warhawks jumped right back on top with two runs in the fifth and two more runs in the sixth for a 7-4 advantage. The Flames cut the lead to 7-5 in the bottom of the sixth when Cutler tripled and scored on a sac fly by Collier.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Flames got back-to-back homeruns from Black and Williams. Miller was hit by a pitch. He took second on a fielder’s choice and then scored on what turned out to be the winning run on a RBI single by Dylan Standifer. The RBI that scored Miller all the way from second base gave the Flames the 8-7 lead. It was also the 195th run batted in by Standifer which broke the career RBI mark previously held by Kevin Young.

Tim Gooden was called on in the eighth inning by Coach Mark Brew to quickly retire the Warhawks. Gooden came right back in the ninth inning and retired three straight AUM hitters and got credit for his second pitching win of the year. Frankie Volkers started for the Flames and worked four innings. Ty Cobb came on for three and Gooden finished the job.

All totaled the Flames had 11 hits. Black and Cutler had two each with Black scoring a pair of runs to go along with his homer. Cutler posted two runs, two hits and two RBI. He had a big triple to go along with his one-base hit.

The Warhawks collected 16 big hits with Tyrese Rooks and Kasey Clark leading the way with three hits apiece. RH Franklin homered, singled and drove in three runs. Zach Dew, Cooper Doughman and Brendan York each had two hits. Ashton Thomas knocked in two runs with his one-base hit in the fifth inning. The Warhawks used four pitchers in the loss. Ryan Slaten, who was the third AUM hurler to work, gave up three runs on three hits and was charged with the loss.

Game 2 – Tampa 16, Lee 3
The final score in Lee’s final game of the season was in no way indicative of the way this contest way played over the first eight innings. In fact, the contest was tied at one after two innings and Tampa scored four runs to lead 5-2 after five innings of play. As the two teams entered the ninth inning it was still a respectable 8-3 game.

All of a sudden, the Flames were out of pitching. Four hurlers had been used by Coach Brew and the fifth to take the mound was Nelson Smith. The right-hander ran into control problems, walking three batters and hitting two more. He also gave up a pair of hits. Overall, Smith allowed five earned runs and retired only one batter.

Ashton Simmons, who had not pitched a game all season for the Flames, came on and got two quick outs to finally end the inning but the damage was done. Eight big runs had gone up on the board and the final tally read Tampa 16, Lee 3, despite the Spartans only outhitting the Flames 15-10.

Williams was Lee’s top hitter with a homerun and a single. Cutler also had two hits in three trips to the plate and Collier got his bat going with two hits and collected a RBI. Cam Suto homered in the fifth inning for Lee’s other run. It was the 20th homerun of the year for Suto.

Freshman Zach Lawson started for the Flames and gave his team a respectable four innings. He gave up six hits, four earned runs and was charged with the loss. Cole Matthaidess followed for 1.1 frames. Hunter Lane came on for two innings. Colt McKibben retired a pair of batters before Smith ran into trouble in the ninth and Simmons was called on to get the final out.

JP Gates had a huge afternoon for the Spartans. He had four hits, blasted two homeruns, drove in six runs and scored three times. Gates, a big left-hander was called on to pitch a couple of innings and allowed a pair of hits and an earned run.

Tampa got two hits, three RBI and three runs scored from Stephen Klein. He also walked three times. Brayden Woodburnhad a two-run homer and a double, while EJ Cumbo turned in his usual performance with two hits and two runs scored.

Skyler Gonzalez (14-0) worked six innings and got the pitching win. As mentioned earlier, Gates came on for a pair of innings and Anthony Nunez was moved from his third-base spot to the mound and worked the final inning for the Spartans.  

Coach Mark Brew’s thoughts:
“I’m really proud of this team. They battled all year and continued to raise the standard for Lee Baseball moving forward. This senior class has been extra special. Three conference championships and three regional appearances in the past four years is an amazing accomplishment.  More importantly than the accomplishments on the field are how great people they are. It’s been an honor to coach them.”


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