One of the biggest success stories this spring has been the Silverdale Baptist Academy baseball team. Despite the Seahawks youthful makeup, which includes six sophomore starters, Lance Rorex’s program has been one of the best in the Chattanooga area.
The only two regular season losses came at the hands of perennial state championship contenders Baylor and Gordon Lee, with each of those opponents needing late-game clutch performances.
Another late rally by an opponent cost the Seahawks in Monday’s 7-6 loss to Knoxville Webb in the Division II-A East Region semifinals. Silverdale Baptist jumped out to a 6-1 lead early before Webb fought back to advance to the region championship against Christian Academy of Knoxville.
Despite the loss, the Seahawks (28-4-1) also have a shot to rebound and reach the Spring Fling. Silverdale Baptist will face King’s Academy Tuesday in a consolation game to determine if it will host or travel in Saturday’s state tournament, with a shot at the Spring Fling’s final four on the line.
Webb at Silverdale Baptist state tournament baseball
Sophomore shortstop Turner Junkins, a Middle Tennessee State University commitment, provided a dramatic postseason moment when he hit a grand slam to straightaway center field to spark a six-run second inning Monday.
“When one of your best players is also one of your hardest workers, that’s big. Really big,” Rorex said of Junkins, who also has an earned run average of 1.90 and 56 strikeouts pitching this season. “Turner works his tail off every day and lives in the cages. Other guys latch on to him and because of leaders like that everyone around them gets better. He and our guys will run through a brick wall for each other too. They go out and compete and believe they have a shot against anyone.”
The Spartans tied the game at 6-all scoring four runs in the top of the fourth thanks to opposite field hits by Carter Musrock and Taeg Horner while they drew three walks and had two batters hit by a pitch.
In the bottom of the fourth the Seahawks failed to execute a suicide squeeze attempt which would have given them the lead back. The game-winning run was plated in the sixth as a Webb runner slid safely across home before a third out could be applied in a run-down situation. Horner fanned two in the seventh to close out a two-inning save.
“At the end of the day our guys are going to win and lose the right way,” Rorex said. “I love this team because they come to work every day. We lost to a team tonight that has 11 seniors and we have one — Evan Padgett who threw a runner out at the plate today. I have loved the process that we’ve had all season and we will reset and get back after it tomorrow.”
Contact Patrick MacCoon at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.