Trailblazers leave nothing to chance this time

Jeff Birchfield • Apr 9, 2013 at 10:59 PM

The Daniel Boone baseball team wasn’t about to let up this time around.

The Trailblazers scored seven runs in the final inning for a 12-1 victory over David Crockett on Tuesday evening at Warren Miller Field.

It came six days after Boone gave up a six-run lead against the Pioneers and lost a 15-11 decision.

“Last time, we got out to a 7-1 lead and it kind of fell apart on us,” Boone head coach Rob Hoover said. “We knew they were capable of coming back on us, so we knew we had to play with great focus. We’ve experienced some unfortunate innings when we lose our focus.”

Taylor Smith was certainly focused batting in the No. 3 spot.

He had a three-run home run in the third inning and then doubled to start off the final inning. Smith ended 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

“Taylor has done such a good job this year staying within himself,” Hoover said. “Last year, he tried at times to do too much. But he’s such a better overall hitter now. His outfield play is good and he’s taking great approaches at the plate. He’s really carrying us right now.”

Boone improved to 4-3 in the Big Eight Conference and 9-8 overall with the win. Crockett fell to 2-7 and 4-12.

As good as Smith was at the plate, starting pitcher Daniel Cox was equally proficient on the mound.

Cox had 10 strikeouts and scattered six hits over six innings, before Brandon Davis came in with two strikeouts and a pop-up to close out the game.

“Every time he goes out, he gives us a chance,” Hoover said about Cox.

After leaving three runners stranded in the first inning, the Pioneers got on the board in the bottom of the second. Matt Scalf doubled to left center field and John Long followed with a RBI single for a 1-0 Crockett lead.

The Trailblazers answered in the top of the third when Smith’s three-run shot went well past the 335-sign hanging in left center field.

“The pitcher was throwing a good game and we hadn’t been hitting,” Smith said. “We just needed a big hit to get things going. We’re a momentum team. Once we get going, it’s hard to stop us.”

That was certainly the case as another run scored off a Crockett error for a 4-1 Boone lead.

Neyland Davenport’s RBI walk to score Josh Bacon added another run in the sixth before the floodgates opened in the seventh.

“Twelve to one isn’t an indication of how good a game it was,” Pioneers coach Scott Hagy said. “It got out of hand at the end. Smith hit that one pitch that changed the complexion of the game, but we have to get past that. We had plenty of opportunities tonight, but could not make it happen.”

Smith led off the final inning with a double and scored off Jake Littleton’s RBI double to left field. Boone went through its lineup and beyond as Littleton ended the game 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Cameron Clabough also hit 2-for-4.

“We’re all capable of hitting,” Hoover said. “We’ve had some ups, we’ve had some downs, but there’s a lot of baseball left. I like this team and I feel like there’s a lot we can do. We just have to get more consistent with how we play.”

Chase Miller, grandson of the former Crockett coach for whom the ballpark is named, suffered the loss. He gave up four hits, five walks and five runs (only one earned) in 51⁄3 innings.

Long led Crockett at the plate, 3-for-3 and reaching base in all four at-bats. Scalf, hitting in the 9-hole, finished 2-for-3.

The Pioneers will try to win at home today when they host Greeneville in a game scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.

Recommended for You

    Johnson City Press Videos