Pitcher's return helps Ensworth beat MBA in baseball showdown

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 10:53pm

Ensworth High is quite happy to have Cody Tollison back on the mound.

The Tiger left-hander returned to the lineup and pitched a four-hitter, sparking Ensworth to a 7-2 romp over MBA in a DII-Middle Region baseball game Wednesday afternoon. He missed roughly a month with a dislocated left thumb.

“It (the injury) happened in Memphis the first of the year,” Tollison, who was the quarterback on the Tiger football team, said. “It was good to get back in after missing so much action.”

Tollison was a bit rusty. He walked four and hit two batters but also struck out seven. He retired nine of the last 12 batters he faced and did not allow a hit after the fourth.

“I tried to keep the ball down, and our hitters really jumped on them early,” Tollison, who threw 125 pitches, said.

Tollison, who has signed to play baseball at MTSU, also had two hits and reached base in four of his five at-bats.

He was supported by 10 hits off two MBA pitchers as Ensworth jumped to a 7-1 lead after two innings and coasted. The win gave them a quick jump on the Big Red in the three-game series, with Game 2 Thursday at Ensworth, Game 3 Friday back at MBA.

Junior leftfielder Alex Benson led the offense by going 3-for-4 (his only out came on a fly to deep center) with three RBIs and two runs scored. His two-run double keyed a five-run Ensworth second, which broke open the game. He also made a leaping catch at the fence to rob Joe Riegle for the final out.

“We were able to come out and score some runs early,” Benson said. “We haven’t played very well lately in some of the games that we lost, and hopefully a win like this will get us back on track.”

Ensworth finally pulled over .500 both overall (11-10) and in the region (7-6) but still trailed MBA (16-5,10-3) by three games.

Seniors Daley Hill and Pearce Browder each had two hits, along with Tollison. Leadoff man Nantambu Fentress went 1-for-3 and scored twice.

“We’ve been up and down much of the season,: fifth-year coach Jason Maxwell, a former Marshall County High star who played in the major leagues with the Cubs and Twins, said. “Cody gave us a strong pitching game after his injury and we were able to get some runs early.”

MBA scored only on an RBI single by losing pitcher Oliver Oldacre and a bases-loaded walk by Neil Reinhardt. Reliever Denny Sandwith pitched 5 2/3 innings of two-hit relief.

“Ensworth played well, they jumped on us early and showed us what we can do and what we can’t do,” ninth-year coach Thomas Wims said. “We didn’t get runs home with two outs. Hopefully, we’ll be able to bounce back in these next two games against them.”

Prior to the game, a moment of silence was held for long-time MBA custodian Malith Wiek, who was found shot to death in East Nashville early Tuesday morning.

BGA baseball sets Benefit Night

Battle Ground Academy coach Brad Myers announced the team is holding Madelyn’s Night Friday night when BGA hosts Ryan for a twin bill in Franklin. Madelyn is the three-year-old daughter of Alex and Amy Gregg, both BGA grads who was diagnosed with leukemia last October. A $5 charge will include an admission to the game and dinner with all proceeds going to Team Dolly, the benefit team.

Big weekend events

• The annual City Track and Field meet running event finals are scheduled for Friday night at 6 p.m. at Harpeth Hall. It is one of the top meets in which both the area public and private schools are competing.

• The annual Carter Memorial tournament, one of the most prestigious boys tennis events in Nashville, is at MBA Friday and Saturday. Powers MUS, McCallie, Baylor, Webb and host MBA are competing. Singles finals are Saturday morning, followed by doubles.

• The third annual Music City all-star classic will be held Saturday at 4 p.m. at Cumberland University in Lebanon. There will be 3-point and slam dunk contests for area college seniors. Among those competing include ex-Hunters Lane star Jeremiah Crutcher (TSU).