With academic classes dwindling down, spring sports are in full swing and many teams are looking to win a state championship in the coming days.
After an extremely successful sports season last year, the Baylor sports teams struggled a little this year, but will still try to capture a few titles. Leading the pack are the baseball, softball, track and field, and girls' and boys' tennis.
After a strong regular season, the baseball team is poised to win the Tennessee State Championship for a second consecutive year. The team has been led by several underclassmen, in particular Colin Ahearn. Ahearn, one of three finalists for Mr. Tennessee, had nine runs batted in, two home runs, and a victory on the mound in the two games against MUS in the quarterfinal round. Baylor defeated MUS 5-4 and 12-1 to advance to the semifinals and finished the regular season 24-6.
Similar to baseball, the softball team has been dominant all season. In the final game of the regular season, Baylor avenged one of their only losses to GPS. Baylor defeated their cross town rival 7-1 behind strong games from Syd Berzon and Acelynn Sellers. With a 37-3 record, Baylor secured a first round bye in the state tournament. In the quarterfinals, Baylor defeated St. Cecilia’s 16-0 and 12-0 to advance to the semifinals next week. With a state championship, that would be five in a row for the Lady Red Raiders.
After losing many seniors last year, the girls tennis team is also riding a strong regular season performance into the state final four. A 10-1 record set up a quarterfinals match-up against St. Benedict where Baylor convincingly won 5-0. The Baylor girls tennis team has been the team of the decade, winning the last eight state championships and looking to close out the ten year span with another championship. Semifinal play begins Tuesday against GPS.
The Baylor boys' tennis team will also play at the Spring Fling after beating Christian Brothers 4-0 in the state quarterfinals. The Raiders take on McCallie in a Tuesday semifinal.
The final team to make it to the state championships is track and field. Athletes competing in individual events include Wiley Pippenger, Riley Jenne, Jack Holcombe, Ruthie Burnette, Makayla Packer, and Emmy Davis. Packer will go after titles in both the track and field competitions and softball tournament in Murfreesboro. Baylor qualified for numerous events, and many more athletes will compete in relay events.
With five teams heading to the state championships, other teams fell just short. The boys lacrosse team lost to Christian Brothers in the quarterfinals, but showed glimpses of hope for years to come. In the girls lacrosse semifinals, the Lady Red Raiders lost to Ensworth after a dominant regular season. After a state championship last season, the boys soccer team was unable to repeat as champions as they lost in the quarterfinals to MBA.