MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — If there was a Cy Young Award for high school pitchers in Tennessee, Silverdale Baptist Academy senior Turner Junkins would be front-runner material.
Just down the road from where he'll join the Middle Tennessee State University baseball team along with fellow Seahawks standout Brett Rogers, Junkins put a final mark on his phenomenal season on the mound.
With his team facing elimination Wednesday morning in the Division II-AA state tournament, Junkins was dominant, striking out 12 batters in a complete game as the Seahawks won 4-0 against Christian Academy of Knoxville at Middle Tennessee Christian.
Silverdale (35-7) was not able to extend its title bid beyond the next game, however, losing 8-0 on Wednesday evening to Goodpasture (36-5), which will have to win twice against Northpoint Christian (34-6-1) on Thursday to repeat as state champion.
The Seahawks, though, made it that far thanks in part to Junkins.
In the morning matchup, he was tough to hit with his fastball topping 90 mph and mixed in with a sharp curveball and a changeup that have been on all season. He finished 11-0 with a 0.22 ERA and 89 strikeouts over 61 innings in which he allowed 30 hits and 13 walks.
He also formed a remarkable battery with Ian Reagan this spring as he and the senior catcher called every pitch together.
"Last year, our whole goal was just to make it to Murfreesboro," Junkins said. "Over the offseason I put on about 20 pounds of muscle from working really hard in the weight room. It really helped my velocity jump a bunch. Every time I went out there on the mound, I just wanted to win for my teammates. That's all I care about. I love them all."
A day after losing 6-0 to Goodpasture, the Seahawks were sparked at the plate against CAK by senior Brody Lamb, who drilled a two-run double in the first inning and finished the season with more than 70 RBIs. Junior Owen Phillips hit a solo home run, while Junkins added an RBI single.
"This team came a long way since last year," Silverdale coach Lance Rorex said. "These guys were not only stronger physically but had the mental part of the game down, too. They left their mark on this program in a big way."
Spring Fling state baseball on May 24, 2023
Christ Presbyterian Academy 1, McCallie 0: The Blue Tornado were held hitless as the 2022 state champions closed their season at 20-15 overall. North Carolina signee Olin Johnson took the tough luck loss, allowing one run with seven strikeouts in five innings.
Hardin Valley 8, Walker Valley 3: A magical season ended for the Mustangs (22-15), who made their first state tourney appearance since 2012. Connor Crumley and Logan Wallace sparked the bottom of the lineup, going 5-for-6 with two runs scored. Crumley doubled twice and was driven in on a two-run double by Felipe Castellanos.
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org.