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Tribe rolls against Cyclones in matchup of champions

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Apr 27, 2019 at 11:51 AM

KINGSPORT — The showdown between Big Seven Conference and Three Rivers Conference baseball champions was decidedly one-sided on Friday night.

Dobyns-Bennett rolled to a 17-2 win over Elizabethton in five innings at J. Fred Johnson Stadium.

The Indians (19-11) scored 16 runs over the second, third and fourth innings, capping off the big production with seven runs in the fourth. Their effort included 14 hits and seven walks.

“Today was our day. We swung the bats well and situationally, things fell for us,” Dobyns-Bennett coach Ryan Wagner said. “We pitched well, played good defense. After last night (a 4-3 loss to Jefferson County), I didn’t know what would happen today.

“Our hitting, it just comes with time. We’ve faced a lot of good pitchers over the years and that’s why we schedule a tough schedule. We can’t be content. We have to keep grinding and get better every day.”

There aren’t many nights the Indians have looked better.

Brogan Beckner led the way offensively, going 3-for-4, driving in three runs and scoring twice. Dalton Harkleroad was also 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Other leaders included Derek Thurston going 2-for-3 and driving in four runs. Aaron Farley and Jackson McDavid each drove in two runs. Lead-off Jaden Alderson scored four runs, while Grayson England and Cade Maupin each scored three runs.

“I had a few games where I struggled at the plate and tried to pull everything,” Beckner said. “Today, I stayed on the ball and if I had to put it opposite field, that’s where I was going to put it. Everybody was patient today, everybody was clicking and we had a lot of crucial hits. They did what they had to do to get runs in.”

ROUGH NIGHT FOR THE CYCLONES

Evan Perkins was 2-for-2 to lead Elizabethton (20-6), which had four hits against Dobyns-Bennett pitcher Jake Timbes.

Karson Dillard had one hit and scored one run, while Matthew Dailey drove in a run.

Despite the lopsided outcome, it’s a game Cyclones coach Ryan Presnell would gladly schedule again. He felt it was a good matchup for his team with the district tournaments fast approaching.

The Cyclones face another pair of Big Seven Conference opponents early next week. They reignite an old rivalry with Science Hill on Monday and play Daniel Boone on Tuesday.

“It’s a good opportunity. We have two more good teams Monday and Tuesday to improve against,” Presnell said. “As a coaching staff, we’re going to go to work and so are these kids. They’re Cyclones, they’re fighters and we’re going to get better over the next four days.

“A lot of people don’t realize that we got run-ruled by Science Hill right before we made a run of the century for our district. We are who we are and we’re not going to hang our heads and put our tails between our legs. That’s not who we are.”

Dobyns-Bennett finishes its regular season off next week with games against Unicoi County and Morristown East.

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