Branca, Lee trio All-Americans

Branca, Lee trio All-Americans

June 5th, 2012 by Staff Reports in Sports

Shortstop Stephen Branca from NAIA baseball champion Tennessee Wesleyan College and three Lee University players -- second baseman Blake Barber, designated hitter Corey Davis and pitcher Kris Hall -- were named Monday as NAIA first-team All-Americans, and Wesleyan third baseman Taylor Oldham was a second-team choice. Lee's Roberto Reyes, Wesleyan's Jake Stone and Bryan's Shane Clawson received honorable mention. Lee, ranked No. 2 going into the NAIA World Series and finishing fourth, has become a fixture in the top of the rankings but never previously had three first-team All-Americans. Only third-ranked Oklahoma City matched the Flames with that many in 2012. Wesleyan went into the Series as the fourth seed with Branca leading the country in runs scored and Oldham on top in RBIs. Branca hit .432 with 89 runs, 72 RBIs, 18 homers, 19 doubles and a triple, and Oldham totaled 94 RBIs with a .362 average, 22 homers, 13 doubles and 59 runs; Stone hit .407 with 78 RBIs, 72 runs, 13 homers, 20 doubles and two triples. Barber batted .403 with 68 runs, 65 RBIs, 34 extra-base hits and 20 stolen bases in 23 tries; Davis hit .345 with 30 extra-base hits, 61 RBIs, 60 runs and 31-of-35 stealing, and Reyes hit .298 with 83 RBIs, 57 runs, 15 homers and 19 doubles. Hall was 12-0 with two saves, 122 strikeouts in 100 innings and a 1.71 earned run average.


• GALLATIN, Tenn. -- Mary Alice Murphy of Lookout Mountain shot a 3-under-par 69 at Foxland Harbor Golf and Country Club to earn medalist honors in the Tennessee Women's Amateur Championship on Monday. Defending champion Kendall Martindale is the top seed in the championship match-play field of 32. Murphy, who plays for Mercer, is the second seed. Chattanooga's Blakesly Warren earned the third seed and junior medalist distinction with a 70, and Charleston's Maggie Scott was the senior medalist with a 76. Signal Mountain's Lauren Johnson (75), Lee University players Madison Alexander (74) and Courtney Shelton (77), Manchester's Jenna Burris (76), and Crossville's Jean Roise (79) also made the championship bracket.

• Thomas Gallant became only the fourth back-to-back winner in the long, prestigious history of Lookout Mountain's Swing Ding on Sunday. He won with three-time winner Neil Spitalny.


• Ringgold High School's Kile Sholl and North Murray's Jacob Mays were named North all-stars at this past weekend's Cam Newton Foundation 7-on-7 tournament in Marietta and will be part of the Georgia team that will compete in the IMG Madden tournament June 29-July 1 in Bradenton, Fla. Newton, the Carolina Panthers quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn, personally picked the eight players to represent the North and eight for the South from a separate tournament held at Newton's alma mater, Westlake High School. Sholl is a rising sophomore; Mays is a senior. "It was a first-class event and Cam Newton was there the whole time," Ringgold coach Robert Akins said. "Kile really stood out. I can't recall how many touchdown catches he had, but he also had several interceptions. It's a tribute to a great kid."

Auto Racing

• Rick Millard won the heads-up 6.0-second class in his 1969 Camaro Z-28 as the Brainerd Optimist Drag Strip opened for the season Saturday, and Jerry Wilson in a Chevy dragster in the 5.70 and Shane Moses in a 1990 Mustang in the 7.0 were other heads-up winners. Stacey Sitton was Wilson's runner-up; Dennis Smith was second to Moses. Wes Moore in a 454 Chevy-powered '72 Nova was second to Millard, a refrigerator mechanic from Rossville who has raced at the strip for more than 30 years. Michael Dobson in a '72 Ford was the super pro bracket winner with Tony Helms second, and David Bigham won the foot brake class in a '69 Dodge Dart with Melvin Croft second. Jacob Clayton and Brady Kittle were first and second in junior dragsters.

• Jason Welshan of Maryville won the Limited Late Model/Crate race Saturday night at Cleveland Speedway when Booger Brooks refused a protest check of his engine after crossing the finish line first. Andy Pickelsimer and Brian Pritchard were officially second and third. Glen Seaton III of Cleveland won the A-Hobby class, which is having its midseason championship race this Saturday, with Josh Walker second and Greg Greene third, and Lee Harbin of Ringgold won in B-Hobby with B.J. Wilson and Corey Sanders the next two. Chattanooga's Danny Burnette and Cleveland's E.J. Bailey won in Pony and FWD, respectively, with Grady Stokes and Adam Reseigh their runners-up. A Cruisers class will replace FWD starting Saturday.