ELIZABETHTON -- Tyler Bailey was North Greene’s not-so secret weapon against Hampton in the District 1-A baseball tournament on Tuesday night.
The Huskies’ senior right-hander struck out eight Bulldog batters in a rain-shortened 5-1 winners’ bracket semifinal at Cannon-Gouge Field.
A second semifinal between University High and Unaka fell victim to the wet weather. It is rescheduled for today at 5 p.m.
Bailey gave up just three hits and four walks over six innings to pick up the win.
“Early in the game, I had my fastball working against them,” Bailey said. “Then, I started getting my curveball over. The last time I pitched against them, I struggled getting my curveball over.”
The teams started play in the seventh with another strikeout and two more walks for Bailey, but the rain finally won out.
Hampton head coach Matthew Hardin wasn’t happy about extra time being used to put drying composite for the mound before the rain picked up and the game being called.
“(We) got beat by four runs,” Hardin said after his team fell to 12-11. “(We) had runners on second and third, two balls on the hitter with one out and they call the game. I guess it was too wet to pitch off of.”
While the Bulldogs’ frustration was understandable with two runners on base, the Huskies (18-3) put themselves in the driver’s seat with runs earlier.
Hitting in the No. 7 spot, Will West provided the bulk of the offense, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs. His first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth inning gave the Huskies some insurance. Adam Kirk also had a 2-for-3 effort.
“These first games in the tournament you never know what’s going to happen,” North Greene coach Tim Lady said. “He (West) was batting about .220 three weeks ago, but he’s starting to hit the ball a little better now. He’s a big asset for us.”
Scoreless through three innings, North Greene finally struck in the bottom of the fourth.
Brett Bolton walked and advanced on a wild pitch. Zak Potter provided a RBI double for a 1-0 lead.
After a long fly out to left field, Hampton (12-11) switched from starting pitcher Kody Lauderback to Stone Hutchinson, but the Huskies scored two more runs.
West had a RBI single to score Potter, and Mark Trent scored the final run for a 3-0 lead.
The Bulldogs got their only run off T.J. Hicks’ RBI double to score Lauderback.
North Greene 6, Hampton 2
Jessie Donuhue threw a two-hitter as the Lady Huskies (8-15) beat the Lady Bulldogs (3-18) in a losers’ bracket game at ETSU’s Betty Basler Field.
Same as baseball, a late game between Unaka and University High was rained out and rescheduled for today.
Mendy McNeese’s RBI double highlighted North Greene taking a 5-0 lead in the first ining. The lead increased to 5-0 on Shaya Harmon’s two run home-run in the second.
After a RBI single by Donuhue in the fourth, Hampton answered with two runs in the top of the sixth. Sadie Fletcher had a RBI single and Kalee Harmon followed with a RBI.