Motivated Patterson sparks Overton past Hillsboro in tourney opener

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 1:00am

Wait until tournament time to watch Overton’s baseball team really get revved up.

The Bobcats finally were able to play their District II-AAA tournament opener after the event had been postponed three days due to constant rain. The regular season champs trounced Hillsboro 7-1 Monday afternoon to advance into the second round tonight at 7 at Overton.

Left-handed batter Cole Patterson went 4-for-4, scoring three runs with one RBI, sparking an 11-hit attack against the Burros, who are one game from elimination.

Patterson got plenty of motivation from some Internet bloggers.

“They were saying on CoachT that we were down, had a lot of injuries and, with our already having clinched a region berth, that we were playing for nothing but pride,’’ said the 6-4 Patterson. “That’s never how we play, every time we play to win.’’

Mookie Betts went 2-for-4, and Alex Harton was 2-for-3 with one RBI to lead Overton (25-7.) They finished the regular season on top at 12-2.

“We were really revved up today, ready to go,’’ Harton said. “I was in the eighth grade the last time we went to state in 2005, and I remember what an exciting time it was. We really want to get back this year,’’ added Harton, one of five seniors.

“When I was a sophomore two years ago, we got to sectionals before Smyrna and Sonny Gray put us out,’’ he said.

The offense proved plenty enough for winning pitcher Jordan Humphreys (3-1) who pitched a two-hitter, striking out eight, with last inning relief help from Connor Moore, to gain the decision over Burro pitcher Will Gilbert.

“We feel like tournament time is our time,’’ Humphreys said. “We haven’t been playing our best ball lately, and we wanted to get back on track. That was maybe my best game of the season.’’

The game marked the return of outfielder Colt Norton, who has been plagued with hamstring injuries. He hit a hard liner to left which was caught his first time up, then roped a double to left-center his second trip.

More than anything, Overton was just glad to play a baseball game, having had to wait out the rain for three days. Since May 1 arrived last Friday, Nashville and the Bobcats have seen nothing but raindrops. There was not one pitch thrown in the tournament until Monday.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,’’ said Coach Mike Morrison who spent most of the day Monday getting Tucker field ready for play. “In years past, we’ve had a day or two rained out but nothing like this. It just never seemed to stop raining.’’

Overton next plays the winner of the Franklin-Centennial game, with that winner grabbing a berth in the winner's bracket final. The Bobcats have clinched a region tourney berth by virtue of their regular season title.

“But we’re not resting on that,’’ Patterson said. “We want to win this tournament.’’

Swine flu delays
The Division II Region pentathlon/decathlon at MBA was postponed to Thursday and Friday, due to swine flu fear last Friday at MBA. The girls pentathlon is Thursday beginning at 4 p.m., and the decathlon’s first five events are Thursday, the second five on Friday.