Signal Mountain senior Sam Witherspoon is making a big difference for his baseball program on the field right now, but he hopes his influence helps in the future, too.
Witherspoon came through several times to lead the Eagles to a 6-4 home win against Class AA rival Sequatchie County on Saturday afternoon.
Signal Mountain (21-7) took the lead on a two-run double by Witherspoon in the first inning. He helped keep the score knotted at 3-all when he caught a fly ball in right field and gunned down the runner tagging at third base with a perfect throw in the top of the fifth, and then he singled in the bottom half. The Eagles scored three runs in that decisive inning, with Logan Farr contributing a key bunt single and Carter Giles an RBI single as he had two hits to continue his hot stretch of play.
"Baseball has always been my passion," Witherspoon said. "I had great seniors when I was a freshman and sophomore. With a senior class of eight this year, we are trying to pass that down to the underclassmen so they can carry on the tradition after we are gone. We all try to leave good examples."
After Tyler Lynn hit a walkoff two-run double in Sequatchie County's 7-6 home win over Signal Mountain on Thursday, Witherspoon shut the door on the mound Saturday to pick up his second save in a span of five games.
"Sam has always had that ability to stay composed in big moments," Eagles coach Josh Gandy said. "He and the rest of our seniors will be the last ones to leave the field or practice facility. They are quality kids."
Signal Mountain's Hunter Davis had an RBI single in the first.
For the Indians (14-11-1), Griffin Hall had two hits — and was robbed of a third by a diving Preston Worley — and left-hander Sergio Camp struck out three in two innings of relief.
Walker Valley 3, Hardin Valley 2: Walker Valley's Jhovanny Angeles hit a two-run single in the top of the fifth to break a scoreless tie. Daniel Denton added a hit and two stolen bases, and Aiden Gibson picked up a save as he struck out three batters and did not allow a hit in two innings.
Bearden 4, Walker Valley 2: After a double by Ryan Lay, Preston Hodges hit a two-run homer in the top of the fourth for the Mustangs, who were held to three hits in the loss. Ben Smith tossed three no-hit innings with five strikeouts in relief for Walker Valley. Bearden's Drew Sliwinski struck out 11 batters and homered.
Baylor 5, Farragut 2: In a Friday win, Cooper Kinney hit a three-run homer in the first inning and later doubled, and Henry Godbout's two-hit day also included a double. Winning pitcher Chris Campanella allowed one run in four innings, and Jacob Smith picked up the save.
Hixson 17, South Pittsburg 12: The Wildcats hit five home runs in Friday's road win, with the two from Kane Johnson including a grand slam. Brad Dossett, Jacob Tobias and AJ Wild also homered for Hixson, which scored 10 runs in the fifth, and Manny Velazquez was 3-for-5 with two each in RBIs, runs and stolen bases. South Pittsburg's Reece Genter homered and drove in a pair of runs, and Ryan Cagle drove in three. The Pirates and Wildcats combined for 29 hits.
Baylor 3, Chattanooga Christian School 1: Baylor broke a tie in the 72nd minute when Gui Gragnano scored on a penalty kick after Aiden Yelton was fouled in the box. Nathaniel Peace scored the first goal in the 48th minute for CCS, but Baylor (9-4, 3-0 Division II-AA East) answered as Gragnano assisted David Danquah on the equalizer in the 54th. Riley Shankle scored in the 76th off a deflected shot by Ethan Nunes, and Kevin Ho and Jake Kellerhals also stood out for the Red Raiders.
Sequatchie County 17, Signal Mountain 4: Jesyca Dennis was 4-for-4 with three homers, eight RBIs and four runs as the Lady Indians rolled. Ella Edgmon homered twice and drove in six runs, Alexus Ferrell and Megan Hall also homered and Addy Edgmon had two hits and stole four bases.
Marion County 6, Boyd Buchanan 3: Sara Muir had three of the Lady Warriors' 11 hits, and Emma Crisp, Desi Nance and Audrey Schaefer also had multiple hits for the winners. Boyd Buchanan's Presley Williamson went 3-for-3 with a double.
CCS 13, Knoxville Catholic 1: Madison Vandergriff sparked the top of the lineup with four RBIs and a pair of doubles, and the Lady Chargers totaled eight extra-base hits, including homers by Hannah Blevins and Lauren Kay. Winning pitcher Emily Day did not allow an earned run in five innings, and sister Lauren Day tripled and drove in two runs.
Baylor 7, GPS 0: The Lady Red Raiders completed a regular-season sweep of their rivals with Friday's road win. Freshmen Ensley Collins and Helen Guerry and juniors Samantha Kate Helton and Agda Laakso won their doubles matches 8-6, and sophomore Gabby Czarnecki and freshman Claire McOmie battled past Chloe Nicola and Erin Ensign for a 9-8 (7-2) victory. Laakso won 6-0, 6-0 in singles.