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Spartans sweep MJCA with 19-run first inning

Webb School of Knoxville scored 19 runs in the first inning Saturday in game two of a doubleheader — 15 before Mount Juliet Christian Academy could record the game's first out.

With the first 18 Spartans batters reaching base to begin the game, 25 coming to the plate in the opening inning, Webb back-up players finished off a ridiculously easy 30-3 win capping a Division II-A East-Middle region sweep April 9 at Webb's Morris Field.

“I think that's a first,” said Webb senior second baseman/pitcher Brennan Lui about enjoying a 19-run inning at any point as a baseball player. “I don't think that happens too often, but it was nice to happen.”

Ironically, the Spartans (10-3, 3-1) struggled to score runs in game one against Mt. Juliet only two in four innings — but used a six-run fifth inning to pull away for an 8-2 victory.

The game two lead was so one-sided that Webb head coach Clark Wormsley took out seven of his nine starters after one inning.

Wormsley, in more than 25 years coaching at Webb, remembered only one other time, “probably in the early 90s,” similar to Saturday's amazing first inning.

“When things like that happen, you just want to make sure you handle it the right way,” Wormsley added. “Go base-to-base, don't try to do too much stuff. And make sure everybody gets in to play.”

Individually in the 19-run Webb first inning, Lui smacked a double and single, driving in four.

K.J. Parent had two singles and one RBI; Parker Wormsley added a double and three RBI; Michael Lindstrom had a single and one RBI; Joe Hall doubled, while Robbie Britt and Jim Dolinak each added one RBI.

A slew of errors and walks contributed to the uprising.

Game two winning pitcher Garrett Headden, a senior, received two game balls from coach Wormsley — for his first career pitching win and first-ever home run, a three run blast in the fourth inning of game two.

Pitching the full five innings — allowing three runs, six hits with seven strikeouts and six walks — Headden said the 19-run cushion made things “a lot more relaxing, and I didn't get quite as tense.”

“I think I did pretty well, maybe not throwing my off-speed as well as I'd hoped,” Headden added. “But I made pitches when it counted.

“It was a pretty good day.”

Coach Wormsley said Headden “did a great job … did a good job letting us play defense behind him, and he had a great day at the plate.

“Bower Arnold swung the bat well,” the coach added about Arnold's three hits in game two.

At the plate, Headden, Arnold and Galen Erickson added singles in Webb's two-run second inning, along with Boomer Dangel's infield hit. Brock Beeler drove in one run.

Arnold's two-RBI double highlighted a four-run Spartans third inning. Beeler added a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield, while Erickson drove in one run.

In the Webb fifth, Headden singled home Arnold and Corey Clayton, who began the inning with singles.

In game one, Lui's two-RBI double, Britt's two-RBI single and Dolinak's RBI single highlighted Webb's six-run fifth inning rally.

“I think at the beginning of the first game we were just going out there looking for home runs,” said Lui, also game one starting pitching. “Not trying to get on top of the ball. And it showed, we had a bunch of pop-ups.

“Finally, after coach talked to us, we finally put the ball on the ground and were able to hit line drives and stuff,” Lui added.

Coach Wormsley said, “Their first pitcher, he did a good job; and we didn't make adjustments at the plate. That pitcher was a little slower than we're used to seeing, and we were popping up a lot.”

About Lui, “He's been hitting the ball well all year,” the coach said. “I think he's only struck out one time all season. He's really come on as a senior, really stepped up for us, hitting over .400. He's got a lot of RBIs for us.”

Wormsley singled and scored in the fourth on Dolinak's sacrifice fly.

Arnold walked and scored in the third.

King added a double in game one, while Lindstrom and Hall each singled.

Lui worked 4 1/3 innings on the mound — victimized by two errors while allowing two runs, five hits, one walk, one hit batter and two strikeouts — before giving way to senior Clay Tucker.

Tucker, who also earned a game ball after picking up his first-ever varsity win, worked the final 2 2/3 innings: no runs, three hits, no walks, one hit batter with two strikeouts.


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