Chris McElvain struck out 10 batters and allowed just three hits against Hendersonville on Friday

SPRING HILL – With the season on the line, the Summit Spartans turned to their ace Chris McElvain to carry them into the TSSAA state tournament. 

The Vanderbilt commit was more than up for challenge, dominating the Hendersonville Commandos as Summit took a 3-1 win and booked a trip to Murfreesboro. 

“That’s what we coach for,” Summit coach Chad Kirby said. “This is why we get up early in the morning and come lift and spend time away from our families. This is awesome.”

McElvain stifled the Commando bats all night, throwing a complete game with 10 strikeouts and allowing just three hits. He walked just one and allowed one unearned run, often looking unhittable as he touched 91 miles per hour on the radar gun. 

“No earned runs, and shoot, you’ve seen him,” Kirby said. “That what I’ve been fortunate enough to see for four years now. It’s great. He was throwing all three (pitches). With his velocity, his fastball is going to be good. But he keeps everybody off-balance with that slider. Both of them are plus-pitches. He’s going to Vanderbilt for a reason.”

TreVon Hunter carried the Spartan offense, accounting for all three Summit RBIs on a two-RBI single in the fourth and a sac bunt in the sixth inning. 

“He did a great job,” Kirby stated. “We had to get him in the game this week because of an injury. He did a great job against Overton and obviously tonight, he was great.”

Although the Spartans only managed four hits of their own, they did force Hendersonville coach Mike Hendrix to go to his bullpen a few times. Hendersonville threw Cam Hansen, Eli Steffy, Caid Sanders and Hayden Mullins at the Spartans. 

“They’re a good team,” Kirby said. “It might have been a little bit different if they were fully healthy. We knew Hendersonville is a great program, and coach Hendrix, shoot, how many wins does that guy have? It’s a great night and we just wanted to win.”

With a 3-0 win over Independence in the region championship and the 3-1 win in the state sectional, Summit will be battle-tested heading into the state tournament in Murfreesboro next week. 

“We’ve played plenty of close games this year,” Kirby said. “They don’t really hit the panic button a whole lot. They did a great job of pulling together and Trey comes through for us. 

“In our district, that’s probably 15 or 20 less than two run games we’ve played. That’s what we’re used to, and we’re fortunate enough that we scored more tonight than the other team.”

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