Around the Region: Bryan's Justin Morhardt is AAC baseball player of the year

Around the Region: Bryan's Justin Morhardt is AAC baseball player of the year

May 4th, 2017 by Staff Reports in Sports - College

Bryan College junior catcher Justin Morhardt was announced Wednesday night as the 2017 Appalachian Athletic Conference baseball player of the year, and Lions outfielder Wade Weinburger was the freshman of the year while Tennessee Wesleyan junior infielder Collin Ridout was voted newcomer of the year. Those three were joined on the all-conference team by Wesleyan's Pedro Barrios, Nehwon Norkeh, Dan Ward and pitchers Aaron Ford and Chris Washington and Bryan outfielder Trevor Behrent and pitcher Chad Burrows. The All-AAC second team included Bryan's Lake Burris and TWU's Edwin Bonilla, and Bonilla, fellow infielder Barrios and Washington made the gold glove team. Bryan's Brookes Jones and TWU's Ryan Phillips were Champions of Character choices. Third-seeded Bryan lost 10-3 to Truett McConnell but top seed Wesleyan beat Bluefield 13-6 as the league tournament got underway in Kingsport, Tenn. Point and Reinhardt won 4-3 over Union (Ky.) and Milligan, respectively. For TWU (36-18), which slipped to a tie for 10th in the final NAIA poll of the season Tuesday, Barrios was 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs and Bonilla was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Norkeh was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Corey Wynant hit a pinch-hit home run. For Bryan (35-17), Burris and Morhardt each had two hits and an RBI in defeat. The Lions, who slipped from 21st to receiving votes nationally, play Milligan this morning in an elimination game.

Softball

» Northwest Whitfield High School sophomore Brittany Ogle announced Tuesday that she has committed to play softball for NCAA Division III member Maryville College. A left-side infielder and honor student for Northwest, she has been all-region and all-area twice already and batted almost .400 last fall. She plays shortstop for the ProStar Fastpitch 16-under team. "Brittany is one of the fastest if not the fastest high school player in the North Georgia/Chattanooga area," ProStar CEO Steve Chattin said in a release. "Brittany is one of the top two or three slappers we have ever coached. She has that rare ability to bunt, slap and hit for power." Chattin said Ogle "could play at many levels in the college game" but found a "perfect fit" in coach Leah Kelley's program. "I chose Maryville College because it felt right — it felt like home," said Ogle, who acknowledged that many people advised her to wait for more offers. "Maryville College has what I want athletically and academically."

Auto Racing

» Jake Clayton from Ooltewah, a 16-year-old two-time former Junior Dragster champion at the Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip, won the Super Pro class there last Saturday night with a 5.70-second run on a 5.70 dial in his 1990 Cavalier Roadster. Tevin Pullum from Adairsville, Ga., was second and Hixson resident Ron Lane was third. Then Lane won the class and $1,500 on Sunday in his new 650 big-block Chevrolet-powered Miller Dragster, with a 4.72 burst on a 4.70 dial. Steve Babcock of Rock Spring was second Sunday with Ringgold's Hugh Harris third. Josh Ayers was the Foot Brake victor with Melvin Croft second Saturday, and David Bigham won Sunday with Garett Beaver second. Cannon Stiles and Lauren Hing were first and second Saturday in Junior Dragster, and Branson Jones and Kat Cross were first and second out of 20 entrants Sunday. Brian Dale was first with Bud Calhoun second in the Pro ET bike eliminations Saturday, when Kevin Rodden of Cleveland had the meet's low elapsed time (4.52) and top speed (154 mph).

Football

» The Tennessee Titans Caravan will make a stop at the Academy Sports + Outdoors store at Hamilton Place this Saturday from 1 to 2 p.m., and offensive linemen Jack Conklin and Quinton Spain and defensive lineman Austin Johnson are scheduled to be present to sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. Mascot T-Rac also will be there.