Class AA baseball finals: Lovett rallies for title

Two outs from elimination, Lovett rallied to beat Westminster 4-3 in eight innings in Game 2 of the Class AA state championship series Monday to force a third game, which the Lions won 5-2 behind a pitching gem from junior left-hander Mitch Stallings for their seventh state title in baseball.

The Lions (29-10) scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 2 of and plated the game-winner in the eighth to beat Westminster 4-3 and force a deciding Game 3.

In Game 3, the Lions scored three times in the first inning and once in the second, and Stallings made it stand up.

Stallings, who pitched well enough to win in a 2-1 Game 1 loss, was brilliant on two days rest in Game 3, striking out eight while allowing five hits.

Brant Wells’ two-run double highlighted the three-run first for Lovett, and Aaron Schunck’s RBI single in the second made it 4-0.

Lovett scored its final run on a bases-loaded walk to Tyler Shiflett in the seventh.

The Game 2 win was the first for Lovett in five tries against Westminster this season, and their Game 2 win was the fourth time the two teams played a one-run game.

Shiflett’s bases-loaded single with two outs in the eighth tied the series at a game apiece and made a winner of Robbie Baker, who entered the game in the third inning.

Baker escaped a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the top of the fifth, striking out Westminster’s Jake Forte and Robert DeGolian to end that threat.

Baker pitched the final 5 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and walking two while striking out 4, and he retired the last 11 batters he faced and did not allow a run.

Down 3-1 in the seventh, Lovett’s Nick Cancelliere reached on a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Shiflett’s single to left. The ball was misplayed by Westminster left fielder Kyle Murphy, allowing Shiflett to reach third.

Westminster brought in Merritt Huber in relief of starter Cornell, and he got one out before surrendering Grant Haley’s game-tying single through the middle.

Lovett opened the scoring in the first without the benefit of a hit. Haley was hit by a pitch from Westminster starter Conrad Cornell, moved to second on a passed ball and reached third on a groundout by Aaron Schunck. Haley scored on a groudout by Sean Reagan.

Westminster (27-10) took the lead in the top of the third, getting RBI singles from DeGolian and Cornell, and added a run in the third on an RBI double by McLain Bradley.

59 comments Add your comment

Just Wondering

May 27th, 2013
9:27 pm

Lovett petitioned the GSHA to postpone the State Championship game in order to “protect their student athletes from injury” stating that their pitchers would have to pitch on only three days rest following the playoff game series in Savannah. Then in the Championship game, they brought their ace in for the first game and them brought him in again for the third game with only one day of rest. This should be something that the GHSA prevents in the future. I hope their great lefty doesn’t develop arm problems in the future, as he is very talented. If he does he can thank the Lovett coach!!!

High school baseball fan

May 27th, 2013
9:51 pm

Two fantastic baseball games, but left very unimpressed with both the Lovett coach and their fans. The Lovett School’s administration, parents and students should be collectively embarrassed for their poor sportsmanship. If I was a Lovett parent I would be ashamed.
Congrats to Mitch Stallings for pitching 20 innings in six days. I hope that horse’s ass of a coach didn’t jeopardize your future.

Lovett Parent

May 27th, 2013
10:17 pm

Westminster is clearly very poor LOSERS!!! Go Lions!!!! STATE CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!

College player

May 27th, 2013
10:23 pm

Wow. Sounds like some sour grapes Westminster parents. Cry “poor sportsmanship” and “misuse of pitchers”. FYI, this typically occurs in State Championship contests. (Marist is a perfect example and to my knowledge, none of their pitchers have suffered career ending injuries) Congrats to the Lovett Lions for their impressive showing and especially to their coach and pitching staff.

Westminster parent

May 27th, 2013
10:23 pm

Enter your comments

And once again, Thanks for applying!

Lloyd

May 27th, 2013
11:15 pm

Most Westminster parents are good sports and respect both schools, however, there are always exceptions with any fan base, as evidenced by the above comments. Heck they won just about all the other spring championships, can’t they accept not winning one?

Happy Lovett Parent

May 28th, 2013
5:46 am

As the “College Player stated above, bringing back your best pitchers on short rest is typically done in the State Championship. Funny how some Westminster parents turn a deaf ear when it comes to their fans abusive behavior toward the Lovett players and coaches, yet hear every word uttered from the other side. Hey Westminster fans two things for you: 1) There’s a reason why it’s called a “Rivalry.” Try going to Yankee Stadium or Fenway when the Yankees and Red Sox play each other. What was said at Westminster the last few days is tame by comparison! 2) Your school had an awesome Spring winning almost every single title. Bask in the glow of a great year and stop whinning over NOT winning one! You lost this one, GET OVER IT!

High School Baseball Fan

May 28th, 2013
6:34 am

For what it’s worth, I’m a high school umpire with no Westminster affiliation. Seems I may have touched a nerve with some Lovett folks. Having sat in Yankee Stadium I agree that this environment may have been tame in comparison, but these are HIGH SCHOOL student/athletes. Your $7 ticket doesn’t entitle you and your fans to be abusive to 17 year olds. If Westminster has acted similarly in the past then shame on them, but I saw nothing but class from the folks in green yesterday.
Abusing young pitchers happens all the time (go to a 12U tournament in Cooperstown for an example), but that doesn’t make it acceptable. There is a reason that Tommy John surgeries are on the rise every year.
A heartfelt congrats to the Lovett Lions. I was very impressed with their defense up the middle; terrific catcher, SS, 2B and CF and their pitching was superb. On the field the boys were terrific.
Off the field that community is unimpressive.

WOW

May 28th, 2013
6:38 am

Sounds like a great series…. Too bad the first post can’t handle the loss. Two great programs and the parents are always the ones to make it ugly.

SKININTHEGAME

May 28th, 2013
6:40 am

Kids can be cruel that’s a given and the Lovett kids certainly filled that bill. Bench players weren’t much better in their behavior. Most everyone knows Lance Oubs is an unscrupulous coach.

ted

May 28th, 2013
6:55 am

Kudos to Lovett on a great win. Westminster is a class act too. Great schools, great kids, great families and programs. Wouldn’t let any comments get in the way of the bigger picture – great athletic competition and a lot of fun!!
Congrats to Lovett, and also congrats to Westminster too!!!! They are a class school. Wish my kids went there!!!

Marist Fan GHSA hater

May 28th, 2013
7:29 am

Glad to read that others recognize the kind of Coach Lance Oubs represents. Those who have been exposed to him and to Lovett’s Athletic Director Steve Franks, know that they are not respected by the students they command nor many of the parents they routinely dismiss as unimportant. So happy we have it immensely better at Marist. Tommy Marshal is beloved and respected by the entire student body and their parents.

Marist Fan GHSA hater

May 28th, 2013
7:36 am

…But let me say that I would attend Lovett a hundred times over before I would ever set foot in the “Schools” of Westminster. The arrogance of their alumni (not the current students) is surpassed only by their delusions that their school is somehow superior over all others. I could fill Phillips arena with all the Westminster alums who sit on their butt each day, voting for Obama, and living comfortably on third generation sugar-water money.

Huh?

May 28th, 2013
7:47 am

This blog is a bit like Internet dating — I don’t believe any of you are who you say you are, especially those who say they are fans of one school or another.

SKININTHEGAME

May 28th, 2013
8:02 am

Wow the Marist hater hates more than just GHSA. Westminster alum but certainly nobama fan. Coke is the pause that refreshes!

Exactly

May 28th, 2013
8:06 am

“This blog is a bit like Internet dating — I don’t believe any of you are who you say you are, especially those who say they are fans of one school or another.”

Couldn’t have said it any better myself.
- An actual Westminster alumni

kramers2009

May 28th, 2013
8:37 am

As “Huh?” said: “This blog is a bit like Internet dating…”. So true. Well put.

That said, I would expect nothing less of the comment section for this article. Especially the day after an intense, fantastic State Championship series between two rivals who share the same neighborhood.
Truth is, (for the most part, and relative to the rest of the world) these two schools are made of the same people from the same place. They are both fantastic schools with fantastic students, coaches, administrators, facility, staff AND (usually) parents. There will always be a few bad apples that give both schools bad reps but they are wonderful schools who make up a great rivalry in a great community. Anyone who is/would be fortunate to be a part of either school. Because the rest of the world sees us as one-in-the-same we should keep that in the way we conduct ourselves. Whats good for one is good for the other, and whats bad for one is bad for the other.

Congrats to both schools for great school years with great teams!

-an actual Lovett alum

The Ivy 6

May 28th, 2013
8:40 am

Well put Kramers

Doc

May 28th, 2013
9:28 am

Over 90% of HS sports champions are from north Georgia. Should we be concerned about this trend.

Word

May 28th, 2013
9:48 am

not surprising that it’s a Lovett alum trying to compare the 2 schools as being similar. Kramers, never do it again. It’s not even close.

Jeff

May 28th, 2013
10:09 am

You would think two prominent schools would be mature enough to handle defeat and winning with dignity. The students have a right to celebrate. You adults are absolutely pathetic!!!!! Those KIDS on that field need to know how to handle defeat and winning championships with dignity but are instead learning how to be ignorant thanks to moron adults who still think they are in high school.
IT’S ABOUT THE KIDS FOLKS…..NOT YOU!!! I don’t care which school you represent…all of you are an embarrassment. If this is how the ‘elite’ schools in Atlanta act, then our future is in turmoil.

The world is round

May 28th, 2013
10:18 am

The majority of those players have known each other for years. Starting out at Buckhead Baseball or NYO. They have had invaluable experiences together , winning and losing . We have spent summers together on All Star teams made up of both Lovett and Westminster boys. LOVED seeing players on the opposing team do well yesterday. Pitching and hitting. I wish them nothing but the best. It’s a shame that all I’m reading is sour grapes. Both teams played hard and Lovett had to dig down deep to pull it out. Your school teams have won so many titles this spring and you all should be proud. The children can congratulate each other, it’s a shame that the parents , for the most part, can only cry foul.
It was such a shame that Westminster never gave the Lovett players the respect they deserved by announcing the team players one by one before the game began like they made a point to do for their own players. The announcer really wouldn’t have even needed to look at the roster as he knew most of the players. That type of thing does nothing but fuel the fire.
As far as the conduct of the Lovett student fans goes…. All reports say that the left field hecklers were in full force themselves.
Parents, learn from your kids and say ” good game ” then move on

hahahaha

May 28th, 2013
10:31 am

WESTMINSTER SUCKS!!!!!!

Seriously?

May 28th, 2013
10:41 am

Not sure who decided to leak the script on this blog, but thanks for the preview of another episode of “Big and Rich in Atlanta”.

Happy Lovett Parent

May 28th, 2013
11:15 am

Three points: 1) The Lovett coach Lance Oubs who has taken a fair amount of abuse on this blog (most probably from people who don’t know him) was out attending to Merrit Huber, the Westminster catcher, along with the Lovett trainer, when Huber was injured warming up a pitcher. At least 30-45 seconds went by before anyone from the Westminster dugout was aware their player was down, while Oubs and the trainer tried to tend to him. 2) The Lovett Headmaster went and spoke to a few of the over zealous and rowdy Lovett fans compelling them to tone it down. 3) The amount of abuse hurled upon the Lovett LF, 3B, P, and Coach Oubs was unrelenting from 1st pitch to final out both days of the series. Sadly, abusive fans in this day and age cuts both ways, so please stop with the sanctimony about how righteous the Westminster fans/program is, especially from an umpire,
who shouldn’t cast any judgments, seeing how he is unaware of what is happening in other areas of the field, including sometimes what’s in front of him.

Oh My

May 28th, 2013
11:39 am

I just love reading about the competition between these new-rich schools and their parents. Thankfully, our kids focus on other more-worthwhile effots. Pace Parent.

confused

May 28th, 2013
11:48 am

We appreciate your effot in communication but what’s Pace?

unbiased attendee

May 28th, 2013
11:56 am

The embarrassing superiority complex from the Westminster crowd and the slight “little brother chip on the shoulder” from Lovett makes for a great rivalry. The crowd was mostly what one would expect from the peanut gallery in a big rivalry series with a few exceptions on both sides. The left field line had some nasty hecklers against Lovett, and the Lovett kids behind the plate were at times raucous, but no one group was worse or better than the other. Congratulations to Lovett for winning a hard fought series and congratulations to Westminster for a great season.

Oh My

May 28th, 2013
11:57 am

@confused — Pace is where your future employer goes to school.

haha pace.

May 28th, 2013
12:21 pm

hahahahahahaha dying at the pace thing. Has nothing to do with anything. no one cares about y’all. nerds

Oh My

May 28th, 2013
12:28 pm

Our debate team is so much better than yours . . .

Westminster Alum

May 28th, 2013
12:52 pm

Congratulations to Lovett!
Westminster needs to show a lot more humility in every aspect of their education. While they (and I’m talking about the students, the parents, and especially the administration) think they’re the best in everything they do, I am thrilled that Lovett won. FYI, “Westminster parent”, most families at Lovett (and the other Atlanta private schools, for that matter) would rather send their kids anywhere else BUT The Westminster Schools. The mere fact that you would quote a childish sign from years ago, shows everyone that even stupid people can send their kids to that place full of self-righteous jerks. I am embarrassed to tell people I went there….or even that my kids did. Maybe when they find a new headmaster, the attitude over there will change and we alumni can hold our heads high again.

Unbiased Onlooker

May 28th, 2013
1:28 pm

I was saddened to see so many awful comments in this thread but the worst has to be from the pace parent. Not only is Pace Academy the epitome of suck but the athletics at this “institution” could honestly not be more of a joke. I would be ashamed to ever send my children to such a weak and easy to get in school, that has the sole purpose of creating complete and total losers.

Haha pace

May 28th, 2013
1:42 pm

Thank you unbiased onlooker. This thread should not be about Westminster and Lovett fighting (even though Lovett won the fight, so no point of the arguing). This thread should be about these two schools, no wait, this town of buckhead uniting in one big ball of hate for pace, and how lame they are.

Avid baseball enthusiast

May 28th, 2013
1:58 pm

Unbiased onlooker…you have a very good grasp of the obvious fact the pace kids are lame and lack the most basic athletic abilities. As an avid baseball fan, I was at the competition and noticed that Lovett clearly had a better team and the fans behind home plate contributed to the vicory. One person can’t lose a game by himself but let’s be real, number 22 on Westminster lost them a ring. Also shout out to Lovett’s catcher for tearing it up all series. Westminster fans and athletes suck.

KOB

May 28th, 2013
2:02 pm

@WestminsterParents sorry your kids blow especially Merritt
-King Of Buckhead

Wow

May 28th, 2013
2:34 pm

So, some clear imposter talking about Pace debate blogs and you all jump on that school. What a bunch of dummies — so full of self doubt that you cannot just brush off these Internet posers and instead feel the need to defend your school by attacking someone else. Losers. That’s why I am glad to be at Gallaway, where people in Buckhead learn to think and treat others with respect — and to excel. Have fun bashing each other about your sport programs.

KOB

May 28th, 2013
3:02 pm

Hahaha aha @gallawaykid

Please stop this blog

May 28th, 2013
4:34 pm

This blog has turned ugly and personal. I sincerely ask that no one else comment at all. These kids don’t need to see any of this ugliness! Thank you! Also, I ask that the AJC remove all the entries that name specific names.

I love winning

May 28th, 2013
5:47 pm

Sucks to Suck Westminster

Entern

May 28th, 2013
6:27 pm

Enter your comments here

Hello, it's the real world

May 28th, 2013
9:59 pm

“These kids don’t need to see any of this ugliness!” — yes, the problem is that “these kids” are not sheltered enough from the pain and suffering of the real world. Let’s shield them from some harsh comments from other rich kids about a sporting event. Seriously, you people live in a bubble.

I was there

May 28th, 2013
10:14 pm

I was along outfield fence Saturday (game 1) and in bleachers behind the plate for both games Monday. Bringing your fans in force, decked out, and cheering loudly – fine. Lining up 20+ high schoolers along the fence behind the plate – 10 feet from the batter, catcher, and ump – to yell through a megaphone ” you suck (name)” to the catcher and pitcher is bush league fandom (other comments not repeatable). As is bringing a slew of cow bells that are rung not just between plays, but during the ENTIRE windup and pitch of a Westminster player. Or yelling out from the megaphone the name of the W batter and comments unrelated to baseball. Yell for your team loudly – make noise – but booing the bat boys? I won’t repeat some of what was yelled at our players – it would only bring out comments to restate them here. And FTR, if anything similar was yelled at L players, same opinion. Chanting a player’s name derogatorily as a group in the stands – embarrassing L standards and behavior. Rivalry’s are fun and intense – and the baseball was great on both sides – but playing the “stress on our pitcher” card to reschedule a game only to have your pitcher throw- wait for it – 213 pitches within 48 hours? Really? I honor the athletes on both sides, but the L fans behind the plate were pathetic – and the adults who stood by and did nothing, even worse….

I was there too

May 29th, 2013
7:31 am

I was there: Stop it with the sanctimonious BS. The left field line on Monday was relentless with vulgarities spewed at Lovett LF, 3B and P…And there is NO WAY I could repeat any of this on the blog. My son plays for a rival regional school and we were there to watch and enjoy. The whole aura amongst the Westminster set is disgusting with the entitlement mentality. Quit whining on the Pitcher deal also. Kid wanted to go and all levels of baseball throw the kitchen sink at you when in elimination games. Didn’t care who won before I got to the park, but it was easy to pull for Lovett once I arrived.

Dekalb Co Guy

May 29th, 2013
8:58 am

SMH, at the Battle of Buckhead.

Am sure the baseball games were good too, lol.

Harry Lloyd

May 29th, 2013
9:04 am

I was on the left field line and I know the father of the Lovett Left Fielder (good friend and total class act). The only things I heard were students telling the left fielder to tuck in his shirt, commenting on his hair (which reminded me of my own sweet 80s do) and asking him how it felt to K in the prior at bat. The Left fielder for Lovett, never said a word or taunted the fans which he easily could have, total class act like his pop.
In contrast when the Westminster left fielder batted in the 7th or 8th inning of game 2, the fans behind the plate were brutal, if you were there you saw and heard their actions and I would imagine you were not proud.
Irony is that both left fielders played against each other for years at BB and were 1-2 in home runs in 2008.
Don’t people have work to do?

kidding me

May 29th, 2013
10:33 am

Take this blog down for the kids. Let them grow up. If your school didn’t bury everything from the showers to the broom closet, they might turn out to be productive adults.

SMH

May 29th, 2013
10:48 am

Wow – I”m sure all of Atlanta is amused at how Lovett Westminster is going at it in these immature blogs. Both headmasters should be embarrassed right now….is this what upwards of $20,000 a year gets you? I guess respect and dignity is something one can’t buy.

Westminster Guy

May 29th, 2013
10:52 am

Sounds like three good games! Leave the playing on the field, not in the stands. Both schools have great academics. I would give Westminster the edge in athletics. The schools are close in location and a big rivalry exists. As mentioned, respect for both schools. Especially like to see Westminster make it to a long awaited state baseball final. Westminster is finally in the right size of GHSA classification.

Calm Down

May 29th, 2013
12:54 pm

Everyone needs to calm down. We need to realize that this is a High School Baseball State Championship. Between any two teams, there would be a fair amount of cheering, jeering, heckling, and so forth. The parents on both sides need to grow up: Westminster needs to suck it up and realize that they lost; Lovett needs to not respond to sour grapes and take the high road. Coaches and players played fair on both sides, and that is what matters. And by the way: what in the world does Pace have to do with this? NOTHING. So stop commenting. We all need to treat each other with respect.