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Carter steps down as MJ baseball coach

By Andy Reed areed@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:39 PM

Jim Carter has resigned as Mt. Juliet High baseball coach after two seasons to take the reins of longtime Class A power Goodpasture.

Carter, son of former longtime TSSAA executive director Ronnie Carter, posted a 51-20-2 record with the Golden Bears after taking over for longtime coach Mark Purvis.

The Bears continued their long run of District 9-AAA championships in 2013, winning the Region 5-AAA title before losing at home to Brentwood in the sectional. Mt. Juliet won the regular-season district championship this past spring but lost in the league tournament, finishing with a 25-8-2 mark.

After replacing one coaching legend in Purvis [who took the Bears to six state tournaments in 13 seasons], Carter will follow another at Goodpasture. Richie Estep went 462-119 with championships in Class A and AA before leaving to take over at his alma mater Columbia Academy. The Cougars, who moved into District 8-A with Watertown this past year, lost to Jackson Christian in last month’s state tournament.

An attempt to reach Carter on Friday night was unsuccessful.

Hall visits UT

Former Friendship Christian and Cumberland outfielder Chris Hall has a lot to think about.

But he knows what he wants.

Hall visited the University of Tennessee on Friday. The Vols are looking to land Hall, who has two years of collegiate eligibility remaining after graduating in three years last month from Cumberland.

Hall batted .392 from the leadoff spot this past spring with a homer and 38 runs batted in while stealing 12 bases in 16 attempts to help Cumberland win the NAIA national championship. He drew 42 walks and was hit 20 times on his way to earning second-team All-America honors. He’s also drawn interest from pro scouts though he wasn’t chosen in last week’s draft.

Armed with a degree in accounting, Hall is looking to pursue a masters degree in business. He was planning to do so at Lipscomb University before Tennessee coach Dave Serrano invited him to visit Knoxville.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do yet,” Hall said Friday while returning from UT. “There’s still some academic stuff I need to see if I can do what I want to do.

“Everything [on the visit] was great. The coaches were great. It would be a really cool place to be.”

Hall, a Tennessee Sports Writers Association selection who helped the Commanders reach the 2011 Class A state final, redshirted his first season at CU. He posted a 3.99 grade-point average and earned Academic All-America honors. But Cumberland doesn’t offer the particular MBA program he wants, one which emphasizes accounting.

His high school coach/step father, John McNeal, said it’s a matter of finding the flexibility to make the academics and baseball work.

Should Hall choose UT, he’ll find a familiar face already there. Dylan Boyd, who graduated from Friendship with Hall, is the Vols’ bullpen catcher. Boyd also went to Cumberland out of high school before transferring to Tennessee just for school. But the Vols put out a call for a bullpen catcher and Boyd, who caught some for the Commanders, applied.

Hill leads all-star fan voting

Former Mt. Juliet pitcher Taylor Hill leads all hurlers in fan voting for the Triple-A all-star game.

The right-hander’s eight wins [against two losses] is one off the pace for the International League lead for the Syracuse Chiefs in the Washington Nationals’ system. His earned-run average of 1.92 is tied for the top spot with Rochester’s Yohan Pino, who won Thursday night to pass Hill in the victories race.

Hill’s next start is tonight at home against Norfolk.

The fan vote will count one-third of the total vote, with the media getting another third and the Triple-A field and general managers accounting for the rest.

The International League All-Stars will take on their Pacific Coast League rivals July 16 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Voting for the game, which can be done at any Triple-A team’s website or the sites of the two leagues, will continue until June 27.

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