CHICKAMAUGA, Ga. — There's a virus spreading in Chickamauga, but so far no one in the area is complaining. At least not the ones who live there.
Gordon Lee swept its GHSA Class A public school second-round doubleheader Wednesday over Turner County with scores of 10-0 and 12-2, and in doing so one it the Trojans' senior stars let the secret to the team's lethal lineup out.
"We're a contagious hitting team," outfielder and leadoff man Adam Vandiver said. "When one guy starts smacking the ball we all hit."
Gordon Lee (27-2) will host the winner of the Lincoln County/Treutlen series in a best-of-three series beginning Monday. The Trojans had four innings of three or more runs Wednesday in the two five-inning games and rapped out a total of 21 hits.
They opened the first game with three runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back. Vandiver, Tanner Sexton, Bay Wright, Jake Rogers and Cody Wilson each had two hits and six different players recorded at least one RBI. Senior Branton Phillips earned the win with four innings of one-hit, four-strikeout pitching.
The visitors in game two, Gordon Lee opened with a pair of runs on Bryce Bailey's two-run double, but Turner County left-hander Luke Soliday kept the game close, and when his team scored single runs in the third and fourth innings, the Gordon Lee lead was just 5-2.
That's when the hitting virus flared up. The Trojans sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth, scoring seven times to push the lead to 10. Three consecutive singles to start the inning loaded the bases and Coakley brought home the first run by being hit, marking the end of the evening for Soliday.
Sexton walked to drive in the second run and Wright singled in two. Three batters later, Phillips drove home the final three runs with a double to right-center. Landon O'Neal, finishing up for starter Conard Broom (four innings, one earned run), escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom half to seal the win.
"These guys do a good job pitch by pitch and at-bat by at-bat," Gordon Lee coach Mike Dunfee praised his hitters. "They've adjusted well at the plate. Pitching and defense will keep us in every game, but you've got to swing it to win it. In these first two series they've come out swinging."
Bailey joined Phillips with three RBIs in the nightcap, while Wright drove in two runs and scored twice, while Vandiver had two hits and scored a pair.
• The Jenkins County/Trion Class A series start was pushed back to today at 4 due to wet conditions at Trion.
Contact Lindsey Young at email@example.com or at 423-757-6296.
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 ...