The Patriots were able to pick up their first win of the year while the Bucs dropped their first contest of the early spring.
“We finally got our offense going a little bit coming off two games playing Elizabethton,” said East head coach Mike Breuninger. “We didn’t do much offensively in those two games, so it was good to put all those runs on the board.”
Dylan White, Eli Millhorn, Brantley Ellis and Seth Chafin each recorded two hits for the potent Patriots attack, which churned out 11 hits. Millhorn also collected a pair of RBI on the day.
For the Bucs, starting pitcher Mike Degennero went 2-for-4 with three RBI on a triple. Carter Pollock dished out three hits and one RBI while Henry Borthwick, JP Pealer and Briley Townsend each notched two hits.
“We only had one inning where we didn’t have runners on or in scoring position,” University High head coach Josh Petty said. “Down six, some guys came in and gave me quality pitches. They fought there in the seventh with guys on first and second with two outs. We had a chance.”
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
The Bucs went into the top of the seventh down 10-4 after Sullivan East had exploded for four runs in both the second and fifth innings.
UH started off the inning with back-to-back singles by Degennero and Pollock to start the rally with no outs.
However, freshman reliever Dylan Bartley regained his composure for East as he struck out Esau Byrd and Greer Barnett for the Bucs. UH was down to the last chance.
Borthwick stepped up and smacked a double to left field that scored Degennero and held Pollock at third. Both Borthwick and Pollock came in on the next single by UH, struck by Kaden Weir. He advanced to second on the throw.
Suddenly, the Bucs were in business.
Weir scored on the very next pitch as Pealer knocked another single into the outfield and the score was now 10-8 in favor of East.
After a Townsend walk, Brant Hare stepped to the plate. Leading up to the at-bat, Hare was 0-3 with a walk. Unfortunately, he popped out once more to right field to end the game.
“I’m pleased with Dylan. This was his first varsity game on the mound and he kept his composure,” Breuninger said. “He didn’t let any of that stuff bother him and he went after each batter.”
Of Bartley’s 51 pitches, he threw 36 strikes and notched five strikeouts to one walk.
“We were playing a good top two or three AA school in our area, so it was good to come out and compete,” Petty said. “We’re throwing strikes and Degennero came out and threw a few nice curveballs. He’s got to get his fastball under control, though.”
The Bucs will play on the road on Thursday against Providence Academy. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.