As it was, Unicoi County flailed away early and often against four D-B pitchers, who combined to strike out a whopping 20 batters in a 3-0 Indian baseball win.
Facing the quartet of Brogan Beckner, Jackson McDavid, Gage Hensley and Sebastian Fugate, the Blue Devils managed only a fifth-inning single by Ramon Avila, other than two base-on-balls and one hit-batsman.
"How many? Twenty?" D-B coach Ryan Wagner wondered, raising an eyebrow. "Wow. Great performance by our pitching staff.
"We had it mapped out with these guys and it worked like we drew it up."
The non-conference win upped D-B's overall record to 20-11 heading into its regular-season finale at home today against Morristown East.
Unicoi County fell to 10-16 with the loss.
SWING AND A MISS
Beckner, a senior left-hander who was the starting pitcher, was credited with the win, striking out five in his two innings of work.
However, it was McDavid's two-inning stint that helped push the K total to 20.
A right-handed junior, McDavid whiffed four in the fourth inning, after a throwing error by D-B's catcher allowed a batter to reach first base despite striking out.
"Oh yeah, that's right," Wagner recalled. "You don't see that every day."
After McDavid whiffed seven, Hensley worked the fifth inning and fanned three. Fugate cleaned up by striking out five of the six batters he faced.
The Blue Devils only put two balls into play other than Avila's lined single.
"Hard to win like that," allowed Unicoi County coach Chad Gillis. "The last two weeks we've faced (Matthew) Dailey and (Evan) Carter of Elizabethton and then these guys tonight and also a kid from Connecticut who's as good as any of 'em. Still, we've got to find a way to hit these people."
TRIBE DOES ENOUGH OFFENSIVELY
Sophomore left-hander Caleb Metcalf and his tantalizing slow curve went the distance for Unicoi County and kept his club in the game, allowing seven hits.
"It was a tough night offensively and you must give their kid credit for keeping us off balance," Wagner said. "Sometimes in a big park, his style can work.
"But we managed to scratch out enough runs to get the win."
D-B, which got three base hits from leadoff man Jaden Anderson and two from Beckner, scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Beckner drove in the game's first run with an RBI single, before Cade Maupin and Derek Thurston both plated runs with deep sacrifice flies.