Having watched his team get shut out in a game that barely took an hour and a half, Brentwood Academy baseball coach Buddy Alexander decided patience was a virtue his team needed to learn quickly.
After Baylor's John Tipton completed a four-hit masterpiece in a 2-0 win in the opener of the TSSAA Division II best-of-three quarterfinal series Friday, the second game was delayed for nearly two hours because of inclement weather in the area. The delay gave Alexander more time to work on his team's new hitting approach, and it paid off as the Eagles earned a split, 4-0.
The deciding game will be played today at 1:30 at Baylor.
"We did take a lot different approach in that second game," Alexander said. "We're typically free swingers and we usually don't put clamps on them, but we did some tonight and we might see that again tomorrow. That's the first time we've taken that approach offensively against them, and it seems that, because we know each other so well, it's like a chess match every time we play and it always comes down to one or two moments."
Brentwood Academy (19-15), its patience on full display, made Baylor (20-11) game two starter Buddy Lindsay work hard early in the game, and though the Eagles left six runners on over the first three innings, the extra work eventually took its toll.
Eric Henegar's RBI single gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead in the third and, after an unearned run in the fifth, BA pitcher Will Haynie gave himself some breathing room with a two-run bomb in the sixth.
Haynie was in complete control on the mound, allowing two hits and striking out seven. After getting out of an early first-and-third situation by picking off a Baylor runner, he retired the next 14 batters.
Haynie's effort nearly mirrored Tipton's in game one. The Baylor right-hander kept the Eagles off balance with a well-spotted fastball and occasional breaking pitch. He gave up four singles and allowed only three runners to reach scoring position.
Brentwood Academy's top threat came in the third inning when Jonathan Gregory singled to lead off, moved to third on a groundout but was stranded when Tipton got Haynie to pop out.
Tipton, like Haynie, was also the main offensive star. He hammered an Eric Henegar pitch over the left-field fence in the first inning of game one for all the runs he would need.
"The first game was a magnificent job by our pitcher," Baylor coach Gene Etter said of Tipton, who struck out four and walked just one. "Their pitcher in the second game was equally good in holding us down. He did all that after catching the entire first game -- really a nice effort. We'll probably see him some tomorrow. We've just got to come back strong tomorrow because it's win or stay home. We've got to get the bats going. I was just thinking we scored our two runs in the first inning and that was it."
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...