By Chris Yow
Lane Burleson simply saw the pitch, hit the pitch as he hit a 2-run homer to give GameTime Baseball’s 17U team a 6-4 come-from-behind win Thursday morning over Gallatin-based Cross Hit Red. The home run came moments after another timely hit that put his team in a position to win the game.
Trailing 4-2 and down to his last strike, Columbia Central grad Jaden Hamm waited on the curveball and connected, sending the baseball to left field.
“He threw me like seven curve balls in a row, and I was waiting on it. He hung it and I put a bat on it,” Hamm said.
Alec Beaman scored easily from third and Summit’s Alex Runk was trucking it from second base. The throw to the plate was off-base, allowing GameTime to tie the game at four before Burleson walked to the plate. GameTime coach Chris Hamm said there was never any doubt Runk was getting the wave to home.
“I told him, if (Jaden) gets a hit, you’re scoring no matter what,” he said.
The game-winning home run gave GameTime its only lead of the entire contest, as they played from behind the whole game, which began at 9 a.m. at Spring Hill High School. The squad was coming off a 7-3 win the night before in Hendersonville that ended at 10:30 p.m. The field conditions were still soggy and muddy when the game began, and both teams struggled.
“With the way the field was playing, we had to adjust,” Coach Hamm said. “We are fortunate to be fast, and we like to run when we get on the bases, but it definitely slowed us down a step today.”
GameTime was 1-for-11 with RISP before Hammm and Burleson got back-to-back hits to win the game. Timely hits were difficult to come by until the seventh inning.
“I told them to keep confidence and just keep hitting, and something’s going to fall,” Coach Hamm said.
Spring Hill’s Dawson Hargrove started on the mound, and pitched around a couple of jams. In the first inning, he threw 33 pitches, walking three hitters. A pick off at second base gave the hurler some relief after a walk and a single to open the game, but a passed ball allowed a run to score before Hargrove got a strikeout and a pop up to end the inning.
Hargrove chopped a ground ball softly to second base in the third inning, making it a difficult-enough play to score a run, tying the game at 1-1. Cross Hit, however, plated a run in the fourth to regain the lead on an outfield error.
GameTime would tie the game in the fifth when Beamen took third and Noah Berndt took second base on the next pitch. Cross Hit attempted to pick Berndt off at second, allowing Beamen to tie the game.
Gavin Burleson, who came on in relief of Hargrove, gave up a pair of runs in the sixth, giving Cross Hit the 4-2 lead, setting up the heroics of the seventh inning.
Chris Hamm knew his team would fight to the end, and when crunch time came, they delivered.
“These kids never quit,” he said. “That’s what is special about this group, and I am proud of what they continue to accomplish.”
GameTime is participating in the Music City Classic, a 17U tournament featuring teams from across the country. Their next scheduled games are at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, 11:30 a.m. Friday, July 3, at Drake’s Creek Park in Hendersonville and back at Spring Hill High School on Sunday, July 5, at 11:15 a.m.