Whoever coined the phrase “no lead is safe’’ must have had Goodpasture’s baseball team in mind.
Because the Cougars, who sometimes are down for a 10-count as in boxing, never hear the referee say ’10.’ In the Region 4-AA finals, host Goodpasture found itself trailing 13-5 to Donelson Christian Academy but, undaunted, rallied for a 23-16 victory Wednesday.
Sparked by a Herculean day by senior shortstop Cody Lane, the two-time defending state champs rallied from two deficits to win. Lane went 6-for-6 with nine RBI, both believed to be school records, and he also scored three runs.
Included in Lane’s hitting chart were a three-run double and a pair of two-run singles.
“We never feel we’re out of a game,’’ Lane said. “We were down 14-5 to Lipscomb a few weeks ago, and we came back to win 16-15. We saw a lot of the guys from last year’s team in the stands, like (2008 ace pitcher) Adam Adkins, and it reminded us how we’re never out of a game.”
Asked about his game, Lane said, “I don’t think I’ve ever had six hits in a game before, not even in Little League, and I know I never had nine RBIs before.’’
The win shoved Goodpasture (28-10) into a AA Sectional home game Friday against Marion County, while DCA (16-12) visits the McMinn Central. Those winners advance to state. McMinn beat Marion 8-2.
Included in the game was a marathon 50-minute fourth inning in which 17 runs were scored. DCA tallied seven for a 13-5 lead, and Goodpasture answered with 10 to retake the lead, 15-13, with each teams batting for 25 minutes.
Goodpasture finally took command in he bottom of the sixth when junior Weston Wolfe belted a three-run homer over the right-field fence, snapping a 16-16 tie for a 19-16 lead.
“I turned on the pitch well, I was just trying to hit it hard,’’ Wolfe said. “I was really happy to see it go out, because we got the lead. Hopefully, we’ll be able to take this momentum into sectionals and get back to state.’’
“We never feel we’re out of it,’’ said Coach Richie Estep whose team is gunning for a third straight state crown. We had a 10-run inning, then an eight-run inning to get us back ahead when we were behind. The win over Lipscomb was another time we were down 14-5 and came back.’’
Chase Snyder and William Harris had three hits each for the Cougars, who pounded out 21 hits against four Wildcat pitchers. Designated hitter Turner Bush came in to pitch the last three innings and put out the fire for Goodpasture.
DCA retook the lead in the sixth on RBI singles by Nick White and Neil Hickman, but Goodpasture hit the Wildcats answered a final time with an eight-run sixth. Hickman belted a home run in the fifth.
“You know coming over here that you can’t feel secure even if you get ahead by a big amount,’’ said veteran 22-year DCA coach John Berti whose team was 0-4 vs. the Cougars this season. “They have too many good hitters in their lineup. We got the lead, we couldn’t hold it. We fought hard, we just ran out of pitching.’’
In other baseball action, Lipscomb crushed Ezell-Harding to win the Region 5-AA crown as winning pitcher Kyle Lehning belted a triple and T.J. Hoelzer had two hits.
In tennis, Franklin Road Academy’s boys (14-1) swept Marshall County 5-0 to advance the Panthers to their first A/AA Final Four since 2000. Nathan Stein and Marc Barnett led the way with wins at No. 1-2 singles.
Montgomery Bell Academy shut out host Memphis CBHS 4-0 in DII Sectionals, headed by wins by Naveen Chadalavada and Richard Brunsting at 1-2. The perennial power Big Red (12-2) advanced to another Final Four.
In softball, Marshall County edged Ezell-Harding 2-1 in the Region 5-AA final. Both teams advance to sectionals Friday.
In track and field, the running event finals in A/AA Sectionals are today at Lipscomb High track, starting at 5 p.m. DII Sectional running event finals are Friday at MBA at 6.
Prep tourney schedule
Overton at Independence
Goodpasture 23, DCA 16
Lipscomb 11, Ezell-Harding 1
Region 5-A semifinals
Cascade 9, NCS 4
2:30 p.m.—Rossville at Davidson Academy (2), third game Friday at 4, if needed.
3 p.m. – Tipton-Rosemark at USN (2), third game Friday at 4:30, if needed.
Brentwood at Ravenwood
Goodpastsure 11, DeKalb County 1
Marshall County 2, Ezell-Harding 1
DII-AA: 2:30 p.m.—Harpeth Hall at GPS (2), third game Friday, if needed.
DII-A: 2:30 p.m.—Tipton-Rsm. at Davidson Acad. (2), third game Friday at 2, if needed.
Brentwood 4, Antioch 0
Ravenwood 3, McGavock 0
Ravenwood vs. Brentwood
Region 5-A/AA semifinals
CPA 3, Clarksville Ac. 1, 2 OTs
Hume-Fogg 2, White House Heritage 1
Hume-Fogg vs. CPA
TRACK AND FIELD
Region 3-AAA Sectionals
At Kenwood High
Thursday, 3 p.m. (field event finals), Friday, 5 p.m. (running event finals)
Region 3-A/AA Sectionals
At David Lipscomb
Thursday, 5 p.m. (running event finals)
DII Middle/East Sectionals
Friday, 6 p.m. (running event finals).
FRA 5, Marshall County 0, A/AA
MBA 4, Mem. CBHS 0, DII
BGA at Knoxville Webb, DII