By Thomas Sellers Jr.
A trio of players entered last week’s Shelby County All-Star Baseball Game with a chance to end their high school careers on a winning streak.
Covington Charger players Christian Delashmit, Austin Baskin and Ty Warmath came into the 2019 post-Memorial Day Classic fresh off winning the Class 2A State Baseball Tournament in Murfreesboro the previous week.
And the Chargers were victorious once again on May 28, helping the Public School All-Stars outlast the Private School All-Stars 11-6 in the historic USA Stadium in Millington.
Warmath, the Public School MVP, said it was gravy on his mashed potatoes ending his prep career with another victory.
“It has felt great,” he said. “I never would have imagined it. I wanted it to finish like that but I never could have imagined how much better it was. It was incredible. It was insane. It was a better feeling in reality than my dreams.”
Covington’s road to the championship began with a 6-3 win over Pigeon Forge. Then the Chargers bolted to a 12-4 win over Nolensville. In the rematch to earn a spot in the title game, Covington defeated the Knights 7-3.
On May 24 on the field of the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders, the Chargers lived their dream by beating Forrest 11-1.
“That was the main thing getting more guys ready to pitch,” Warmath said. “That way when we got to that point we would be able to save arms. Our top guys we could save toward the end of the tournament so we could have pitching left.
“Coach was telling us we had to find the right time to get hot,” he continued. “Coming into the State Tournament, we started putting the barrel on ball and finding gaps. We started to get hot and it was no stopping us from that point on.”
Warmath’s hot bat was the starting point of the All-Star Game. He smacked a lead-off triple, sparking a three-run first inning for the Public School Stars.
“It feels great because it all goes back to high school coaching,” Warmath said. “Coach (David) Sage was here and he was our coach in high school. He told us at the beginning of the year, ‘Hitting is contiguous.’ If you lead off and get on base with a hit, the rest of the guys will follow along with you. Hitting is contiguous, and I came out here trying to find a good pitch to put a barrel on and I did.”
With runners on base, Brighton’s Dalton Rushing struck the big blow with a double driving in a pair of runs.
The Private School Stars chipped into Public Schools 3-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning when Blake Cherry of Northpoint Christian drove in Chad Partee from Lausanne.
By the third inning, the Public School Stars regained a three-run lead when Germantown’s Ethan Payne brought home Baskin on a ground ball.
The Private School Stars deadlocked the game in the bottom of the third inning when Cherry reached on a single and Dawson Williams of ECS was on base from being hit by a pitch.
Next to the plate was Jeff Hamsley from Briarcrest. Hamsley, the Private Schools MVP, crushed a triple deep into the USA Stadium outfield, scoring both runners to make the tally 4-3.
Moments later the Private School Stars tied the game at 4-4 when Harding Academy’s Preston Ford drove in a run.
The Public School Stars seized control of the game once again in the fourth inning when Brighton’s Garrison McBride singled in teammate Gabe Nicholson of Collierville.
The 5-4 lead grew 6-4 when Rushing drove in another run with a single. Arlington’s Cooper Tremmel drove a pitch deep into the outfield to bring home another Public School run, courtesy of the sacrifice fly.
The Private School Stars had one more rally in the fifth inning. Hunter Schwartz from SGA singled in SBA’s Christian Presley to make the tally 7-5. Next batter Zach Conrad stroked a base hit to score Schwartz.
With the score 7-6, the Public School Stars had the final rally of the night. Baskin drove in a run with a base hit to make the score 8-6. Then a sacrifice fly from Collierville’s Francisco Cartaya made the score 9-6.
The advantage grew to 10-6 in the seventh inning when Collierville’s Riley Davis drove in Bartlett’s Cole Smith.
The last piece of insurance for the Public Schools came in the top of the ninth when Davis singled to score Bartlett’s Brayden Arendale. The Public School Stars were victorious 11-6.
The 2019 Private School All-Stars are Yusef Thomas (Lausanne), Christian Presley (SBA), Chad Partee (Lausanne), Dawson Williams (ECS), Preston Ford (Harding Academy), Hunter Schwartz (SGA), Blake Cherry (Northpoint), Chris Sanford (SBA), Mitchell Pfeifer (Briarcrest), JT Durham (Christian Brothers), Brad Bruckman (Lausanne), Will Wood (SGA), Jeff Hamsley (Briarcrest), Cooper Newman (Briarcrest), Zach Conrad (ECS) and Bryan Seaman (SBA).
The 2019 Public School All-Stars are Christian Delashmit (Covington), Cooper Tremmel (Arlington), Dylan Forbes (Brighton), Brayden Arendale (Bartlett), Ty Leatherwood (Collierville), Cole Smith (Bartlett), Dylan Baskin (Brighton), Ty Warmath (Covington), Dalton Rushing (Brighton), Brock Lomax (Covington), Ethan Payne (Germantown), Riley Bampfield (Munford), Riley Davis (Collierville), Zach Jackson (Collierville), Peyton Calitri (Collierville), Francisco Cartaya (Collierville), Gabe Nicholson (Collierville), Colton Brumley (Bartlett), Drew Edwards (Arlington), Austin Baskin (Covington), Dylan Doyle (Millington) and Garrison McBride (Brighton).