The Bucs (21-10) dismissed North Greene 10-1 behind junior hurler Carter Pollock and a 15-hit attack.
“This is really the first meaningful game Carter has thrown in,” Bucs head coach Josh Petty said. “He pitched a great game. He was strong working his curveball and I am proud of him.”
Pollock allowed just five hits and worked out of a few tight spots in the early going. He got out of a one-out, two-on-bases jam in the top of the first by inducing a fly ball from Turner Bailey and striking out Evan Pierce in the next at-bat.
“I came out with a lot of energy,” Pollock said. “The team backed me up all the way. The infield and outfield did a great job. I just felt good and it was a good game coming off last night. It's a big win.”
Pollock struck out six and walked three in going the distance.
The Bucs scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first with Jakob Hare and Jake Oligny each providing RBI singles. Hare finished the night 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Tournament Most Valuable Player Cas Blevins finished the night 2-for-3 with one run batted in.
The Bucs built a 5-0 lead going into the top of the fifth when North Greene (16-10) broke through against Pollock. Denver Weems and Chance Campbell each reached on infield errors before Zane Potter delivered an RBI single.
UH broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth with four runs, with Hare and Pollock both hitting singles to open the inning. Oligny sacrificed both runners up 90 feet and second baseman Jack Bembry stroked a two-run single to left.
Catcher Hunter Seehorn had an RBI hit in the frame and Blevins closed it out with a sacrifice fly to center, handing the Bucs a 10-1 advantage.
“North Greene really shut us down last night, so it feels good to come back and win this game today,” Blevins said. “We really played well this year, we didn't lose a conference game in the regular season and we played a real tough schedule. We're ready to go as far as we can. What you have to do in baseball if you have a bad play, you have to shake it off and go back at it and that's what we did tonight.”
ELIZABETHTON—It will be Unaka opposite North Greene in the District 1-A championship at Ronnie Hicks Field.
The Lady Rangers earned a spot in the title tilt by defeating the Huskies 12-5 Tuesday night. Dodging an upset bid, North Greene rebounded with a 6-5 win over University High in Wednesday’s losers’ bracket final.
Both assured a trip to the regionals, North Greene and Unaka meet today at 5 p.m. The Huskies need two victories to take the crown.
North Greene 5
Tayla Potter batted 4 for 4 and knocked in four runs for Unaka, which got two-hit showings from Madison Pierce, Sydney Markland and Sarah Tipton. Pierce added a pair of RBIs.
Pitcher Corie Schuettler racked up a dozen strikeouts as the Lady Rangers throttled the only team to hand them a conference loss this year.
After Unaka registered the game’s first five runs over the first two innings, North Greene scored twice in the top of the third. The Rangers, however, answered with two in the home half of the inning for a 7-2 advantage — and controlled things from there.
North Greene 6
University High 5
Jacinth Crawford and Katelynn Rector each batted 2 for 3 for the Lady Huskies, who held on after taking a 6-1 lead into the fifth inning. Crawford homered while Rector was good for two doubles.
Surrendering five runs (four earned) and amassing nine Ks, Megan Whaley picked up the pitching win with six innings of work. Abby Laws relieved Whaley in the seventh and garnered the final three outs — two by strikeout — for a save.
The Lady Huskies did the bulk of their damage with a four-run third.
Kensington Dailey, Ryleigh Owen and Liz Burns collected two hits, a run and an RBI apiece to top UH offensively. Dailey and Owen both doubled.
Errors hindered the Bucs’ effort as four of North Greene’s runs were unearned. Dailey went the distance from the circle, yielding seven hits and striking out four batters (no walks).