Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / East Hamilton (25) Joe Quinlan celebrates with teammates after scoring during the District 6-AAA championship game at Central High School in Harrison on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

A trio of seniors stepped up in a big way to help lead East Hamilton to their first district baseball championship since 2015.

Ethan Evans provided an emphatic finish to Tuesday's 16-5 rout of Signal Mountain as the senior catcher slugged a 3-run opposite field home run over the right center fence to bring the District 6-AAA title game to a close in the bottom of the sixth at Central High School.

"I knew I squared the ball up pretty good, but at first I thought it was a gapper," Evans said. "I am halfway to first and I see the outfielders stop running. The first thing I did was throw my helmet off. It was like an out of body experience. To see all my teammates and coaches screaming and cheering me on was amazing. It was only my second career home run, so it's definitely my favorite moment."

Senior center fielder Joe Quinlan continued his torrid attack at the plate as he drove in a game-high five runs and missed a home run by a few feet late on a sacrifice fly. Quinlan cleared the bases in a seven run first inning, and East Hamilton (15-11) never looked back.

"To see us put it all together feels really great," said Quinlan, who also made a phenomenal running catch at the warning track on a deep fly out by Signal's Ben Timblin. "To help this program get its first district championship in a while means a lot. We came out and took care of business and we want to keep pushing all the way to state."

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East Hamilton vs. Signal Mountain on May 10, 2022

Gray Williams picked up the win in a gutsy effort as the senior ace struck out six over three innings despite battling through a hamstring injury. Signal Mountain sophomore slugger Jake Edmondson was the only one to get to Williams as he homered to deep center and had a two-run single in the third.

East Hamilton second baseman Peyton Harris stole a hit on a running grab and also made a nice tag on a great throw down from Evans to nab a runner to end the top of the second. Jack McBrayer also had a bases clearing double in the win.

The Hurricanes capped off the celebration as head coach Matt Ramsey did a backflip with a special guest watching. They will host either Lenoir City or South Doyle on Monday in a must-win region tournament game.

"My grandmother took me to every game as a kid and was there for my Major League debut," said Ramsey, a Farragut High School grad who pitched for the Los Angeles Angels in 2019. "To have her here and watch me coach now is amazing.

"I am just so proud of this team. They set the tone early and were firing on all cylinders."

> Silverdale Baptist 10, CAK 0: The Seahawks (30-4-1) won the Division II-A East region championship on the road with a complete performance.

> Boyd Buchanan 10, Notre Dame 8: The Buccaneers broke a 7-all tie in the top of the eighth as Cooper Jones tripled to center to drive in a pair. Brodie Johnston followed with a clutch RBI double with two outs. Boyd's Jonathan Tinker homered and drove in four on a three-hit day, while Brodie Lowe scored three runs and had two hits in the win. Jones struck out seven in four innings and allowed just one run on three hits. David Brownlee homered and drove in four for Notre Dame.

> Marion County 3, Polk County 1: The Warriors won the District 4-AA championship behind a pitching gem from Will Pryor.

> Walker Valley 9, Bradley Central 4: The Mustangs scored in every inning but the first as Preston Hodges led the way with three hits and a trio of RBIs. Aiden Gibson also homered and scored two runs in the District 5-4A championship victory.

> Whitwell 11, South Pittsburg 7: The Tigers scored in the first four innings in building an 11-0 lead, then held off a late South Pittsburg rally to claim the District 4-A title. Brandon Easterly drove in four runs and Hunter Cookston plated two for the Tigers, while Caleb Lewis went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and Bradley Harlowe was 2-for 4.


GHSA playoffs, quarterfinals

(best-of-three series)

Class A public

> Metter 5-10, Gordon Lee 2-1: The Trojans saw their season end in Metter at 22-12 as the hosts parlayed a pair of stout starting pitching efforts to secure the sweep.

John Luke Glanton went 6 innings in game one and scattered nine hits while allowing two earned runs with nine strikeouts, while Ruston Rigdon went the distance in game two and allowed just two hits and no earned runs with 13 strikeouts.

Gordon Lee outhit Metter 11-to-7 in game one, but could only muster two runs in the sixth inning to cut into what was a 5-0 lead on an RBI single by Bo Rhudy and a sacrifice fly from Brodie Genter. Metter (27-5) got two hits each from Rigdon and Glanton in the game one win, while Gordon Lee had three hits each from Rhudy and Nate Dunfee in the loss.

The Trojans took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning in game two when Dunfee scored on an error, but Rigdon allowed only two runners the rest of the way while also driving in three runs, two scoring on a fourth-inning homer.

Class AAAA game 3

> LaGrange 5, Heritage 0: The Generals had a rough day on the bases and saw their surprising season end at 23-14 in LaGrange.

Heritage, down 1-0, appeared to have loaded the bases with one out, but a runner was ruled out on appeal at second base before the next batter grounded out. After the Grangers (29-9) scored four runs in the fifth on Colton Esposito's RBI single and a two-run double from Turner Cook, the Generals had a runner picked off second with two on and one out. They had two on and no one out in the seventh when another runner was picked off.

Cannon Stafford and J.C. Armour had two hits for Heritage, while Caden Woods went the distance for LaGrange and allowed seven hits and struck out two.



> Meigs County 10, Tellico Plains 0: Lainey Fitzgerald allowed just one hit and struck out nine in the five-inning win. She also went 2-for-2 at the plate in helping the Lady Tigers advance to Thursday's District 3-AA title game against Sweetwater.

> Lakeway Christian 8, Silverdale Baptist 7: The Lady Seahawks outhit their opponent 10-5, but allowed three home runs in a tough defeat. Kennedy Stinson homered and drove in two while Addison Keef, Bentlee Stiner and Gabbie Hensley each had two hits in the road defeat.

> Silverdale Baptist 13, Grace Christian 9: Gabbie Hensley drove in three and had three hits in the high scoring victory in which Bentlee Stiner had three hits and scored four runs.

> Rhea County 5, McMinn County 4: Lakyn Lockhart had a walk-off single with two outs in the ninth to lift the Lady Golden Eagles to victory.

> Walker Valley 2, Rhea County 1: The Lady Mustangs won the district title game as Madilyn Kidd drove in a key run in the top of the seventh while Ryann Presswood and Hailey Leslie threw a 2-hit gem for the victors.

> Soddy-Daisy 5, East Hamilton 2: The Lady Trojans scored three runs in the top of the sixth to break a tie and win the District 6-AAA championship. Abby Faires had two hits, a pair of walks and scored twice for Soddy-Daisy whose Reagan Rowan did not allow an earned run and struck out eight in a complete game victory.



> Baylor 4, Knox Catholic 1: Pehlipe Spielman scored twice while Mohammed Wumpini assisted a pair of goals as the Red Raiders unleashed 16 shots. Zach Ubamadu was strong in front of the net with six saves while Riley Shankle had a goal and assist for Baylor who improved to 15-1-1 overall.

> Soddy-Daisy 2, East Ridge 0: David Lopez had a pair of goals while Jensen Harbaugh and Omar Lopez assisted on the scores. The Trojans received a stellar peformance from keeper Noah Blue who had four saves while Jackson Voiles was lockdown defensively.