With a week left in the regular season only South Pittsburg can lay claim to a district baseball championship.
The Pirates, who haven’t won a title in more than a decade, are 24-2 in District 6-A.
“South Pittsburg last won a district championship in either 1999 or 2000,” current Pirates coach Wes Stone said. “The 1999 team lost in the sectional and the 2000 team in the region semifinals.”
The Pirates won a state championship at Engel Stadium in 1996 with Danny Wilson coaching.
Lookout Valley is second, Van Buren County seventh and Richard Hardy eighth.
“Three through six [places] is a jumble,” Stone said.
That jumble includes Marion County, Signal Mountain, Sale Creek and Whitwell.
Boyd-Buchanan is 6-0 in District 5-A with two games left (one against Arts & Sciences and another vs. Grace Academy) and Grace is 3-1.
Red Bank and Chattanooga Christian are unbeaten in their respective districts, 6-AA and 7-AA, and right behind them are East Hamilton and Grundy County.
Ooltewah and Soddy-Daisy, the 5-AAA leaders, split their Monday-Tuesday series and the postseason tournament’s top seed could go down to results against the league’s sixth- or seventh-place teams.
Roger Dinger, father of Lookout Valley coach David Dinger, is recovering from quintuple bypass surgery performed last week.
He has been almost as much a fixture at the school’s baseball field as his son, cooking hamburgers, keeping the scorebook, updating the scoreboard and even filling in on the microphone to announce batters.
“He’s OK, although one of his legs is bothering him a little,” David said.
Dinger is in room 254 at Memorial Hospital and visitors are welcome.
Roger and his wife, Jean, were recently inducted into the Lookout Valley baseball hall of fame for 40-plus seasons of service.
Bucs’ Parker back
Boyd-Buchanan pitcher Clayton Parker missed a good part of the season with a partially torn post collateral ligament but is expected back in the lineup soon.
“He has been able to throw [bullpen sessions] and he was released by the doctor [Wednesday] to start playing the field and running bases so we hope to have him back in the lineup soon,” Buccaneers coach Josh Rider said.
Martin could return
Red Bank catcher Taylor Martin suffered three fractures in his orbital and cheek bones when he was struck by a pitch last week but he might return for the postseason.
“I thought he was done for the year, but he said he would have surgery on [Thursday] and then 10 days after that he should be cleared,” Lions coach Trey Hicks said. “He could be back for at least part of the district [tournament].”
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...