Johnson City Press Friday, August 22, 2014

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Big sixth inning propels Boone over Crockett

March 11th, 2014 10:42 pm by Trey Williams

Big sixth inning propels Boone over Crockett

Daniel Boone’s baseball team is less armed than dangerous for the moment, but had enough weapons to outgun David Crockett.

The Trailblazers broke a tie with an eight-run sixth and defeated the Pioneers 17-9 in a Big Seven Conference game Tuesday at Daniel Boone.

A day after opening the season with an 18-0 victory at Tennessee High — East Tennessee State signee Daniel Cox pitched a two-hit shutout and hit  two-run home run — Boone saw Crockett battle back from a 9-3 deficit to the score at 9 with a six-run fourth.

But the Trailblazers sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, which included three walks, two Crockett pitching changes, a squeeze bunt and an error.

Dustin Chandler’s two-run double – his second hit of the inning – capped the scoring.

“They (the Pioneers) showed a lot of character and heart to come back,” Boone coach Rob Hoover said, “but I’m proud of our kids. We never totally broke down. We had a couple of bad innings there, but we stayed the course and found a way to get some hits and get some walks and get some timely hits.”

Zach Peters walked to lead off the bottom of the sixth and Chandler followed with a line single to left field. Ensuing batter Cameron Clabough’s bloop single to right field plated what proved to be the winning run.

Andrew Street followed with a squeeze bunt that scored Chandler, and the rout was on shortly thereafter.

Chandler finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Josh Bacon was 2-for-2 with two walks, was hit by a pitch, scored four runs and drove in two others. Cox drove in three runs and scored twice.

Street was 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs and an RBI. Along with a difficult diving catch that cost Austin Casey a line-drive hit, Boone shortstop Parker Breuel was 1-for-3 with a walk, a steal and three runs.

“We’ve got 10 seniors,” Hoover said. “We’ve got a lot of position players back. But we lost five of our top six pitchers. So the thing for us is trying to develop our two, three, four and five (pitchers). We’ve got Daniel Cox back, who is our No. 1, but … we’ve got a lot of young pitchers. And you saw at times tonight it showed up a little bit. But as the season goes, if we can get them developed I think we have a chance to be good.”

Brandon Davis, one of two left-handers Boone threw against Crockett, might be a quick study. Davis (1-0) struck out three while allowing one hit and no walks in two scoreless innings for the win. He was also 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.

Crockett’s left-handed batting John Long went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs after tallying two doubles, a triple and a game-winning three-run home run in Monday’s season-opening win against Sullivan Central.

“He had a big night last night and had another good night tonight,” Crockett coach Scott Hagy said. “He’s locked in pretty well right now at the plate.”

Isaac Barkley was 2-for-5 with four RBIs for the Pioneers. Ryan Burger and Tyler Peterson were each 2-for-4. Peterson had two hits during the six-run fourth.

“We did a good job battling back,” Hagy said, “and fought through some things. … I was pleased with the way we fought. … We’ve got to clean some things up.”

Crockett had runners at first and second with no outs and the score tied in the fifth, but reliever Gabe Sanders retired the next three batters, including the final two via strikeouts.

“I felt like if we could’ve got the lead I think maybe we could’ve got them down … and the outcome been a little different,” Hagy said. “But we didn’t and they did what they had to do to win.”

Crockett hosts Unaka on Thursday. Boone visits Greeneville on Friday.

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