MURFREESBORO — Spring Hill captured its first state baseball title Friday, rolling to a 14-4 six-inning victory over defending Class AA champion and District 12-AA rival Christ Presbyterian Academy at MTSU’s Reese Smith Jr. Field.
Junior Brycen Thomas finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs to lead the Raiders (33-8), who piled up 16 hits, while teammates Taylor Warwick and Josh Wilkinson also delivered three-hit performances in the convincing win.
“I wanted to step up and help my team win,” said Thomas, who homered in the third, doubled in the fourth and tripled in the fifth, finishing just a single shy of the cycle. “My first at-bat I didn’t look great at the plate, and I just had to make some adjustments and keep my head in.
“We’ve played some really good baseball over the last month, month and a half, and it all came together today.”
The Lions (31-10), who committed three errors in the losing effort, plated a pair of runs in the second before junior catcher and Vanderbilt commitment Phillip Clarke laced a third-inning solo shot to right field, spotting CPA a 3-1 advantage.
“We took the lead early but we knew it was going to be a battle,” said CPA coach Larry Nesbitt, whose squad also suffered District 12-AA and Region 6-AA tournament title defeats to the Raiders. “The bottom line is they just hit; that’s what won them the game.”
Lions starting pitcher David Bates, a junior Vanderbilt commitment, made it through just 3⅓ innings Friday, surrendering seven runs off nine hits while striking out three.
“They hit the ball all over the park and all the credit goes to them,” Nesbitt added.
Spring Hill starter Gage Gillian, the Class AA Mr. Baseball award recipient, didn’t fare much better on the mound, lasting just three innings, but Thomas and teammate Zach King — a senior Vanderbilt signee — surrendered just one run off two hits in three innings of relief.