Moments after the Tipton-Rosemark Academy baseball team beat Grace Christian Academy this afternoon to clinch a berth in next week’s DII-A State Tournament, the players were lining up behind the pitcher’s mound for a group photo.
Somebody yelled, “Wait for Pat!”
Pat would be senior lead-off hitter Patrick Green, who hit a walk-off RBI-single in the bottom of the eighth inning to give TRA a 6-5 win and its first state tournament berth since 2018.
Earlier in the game he fouled a ball off his face, causing a bloody nose. The bleeding had been staunched, but when his team mobbed him after his game-winner he started bleeding again.
Green clearly did not care about the blood because he was all smiles as he emerged from the dugout, with tissue in his nose, to rejoin the celebration and get in the photo.
“Before the half inning started, Coach (Jacob) Cole said, ‘Get us to the top of the order. We got a chance if we get it to the top of order,'” Green said. “The guys at the bottom of the order did that. They gave me a chance to get up there and I just trusted the process and got the hit.'”
In the bottom of the eighth Eli West reached on an error with one out and advanced to second after tagging up on a fly ball by Aiden Sprenkle. Pinch-hitter Jordan Massey drew a two-out walk to set up Green’s walk-off. Green looped a ball into shallow right field and pinch runner Kade Allen scored easily, setting off a wild celebration.
TRA (25-15) looked like it might win the game earlier when it led 5-2 heading into the seventh, but Grace Christian rallied for three runs to send the game into extra innings.
Rosemark starter Noah Roland pitched six strong innings, striking out four and allowing nine hits, before running into trouble in the seventh. West relieved him in the seventh, worked out of a couple of jams and earned the win. He allowed just one hit in two-plus innings of work.
Roland had an RBI-double for the Rebels and Eli Ramsey and Zach Seward each drove in a run.
Cole got the traditional Gatorade bath after the game and could not have been happier after leading the Rebels to Murfreesboro in his first season as head coach.
“If you had told me last year that we were going to state, I don’t know if I would have believed you,” Cole said. “I knew that we were going to be good, I knew we were going to be good on the mound … The fight that this bunch has, the belief in the guy behind them that they have, I didn’t expect that. I didn’t see that coming.”