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Chiefs threaten, but can't beat, Daniel Boone

Douglas Fritz • May 3, 2019 at 9:11 PM

Cherokee had plenty of fight for Daniel Boone, and who knows what would have happened if Colby Backus didn’t make a spectacular first-inning defensive play for the Trailblazers?

Boone squeaked past the Chiefs 3-2 in an elimination game of the District 1-AAA baseball tournament Friday night at Mabe Field.

“It was a very tough performance by our team,” said Boone head coach Rob Hoover. “I give Coach (Matthew) Carter and the guys from Cherokee all the credit in the world for playing the game hard. It was a classic first-round single-elimination tournament game. We are very pleased to move on.”

Improving to 18-10, Boone advanced to the double-elimination portion of the tourney. The ’Blazers will take on Science Hill (22-11) on Saturday morning at Tennessee High’s field in Bristol.

THE START

Cherokee came out ready to rock. Trent Price battled Boone ace pitcher Cade Elliot for a leadoff walk. He moved to second when Carter Morelock fought off a pitch for an opposite-field single.

That brought Cherokee’s best, Nick Collins, to the plate. Collins stroked a line drive to right-center field that had two runs written all over it. Unfortunately for Cherokee, Backus turned the runs into disappearing ink with a diving grab.

“It was a huge momentum play,” said Hoover. “It very easily could have gotten past him to the fence. Colby Backus has played great defensively all year.”

Elliot followed it up by getting a strikeout and coaxing a fly out to end the Chiefs’ threat.

THE SCORES

Cherokee scratched across a pair of runs in the third inning, thanks in part to singles by Price and Japheth Curtsinger.

Boone answered in the bottom half when Brody Goodman scored on a wild pitch and Backus raced home on an error.

The Trailblazers got the winning run on Hunter Adams’ suicide-squeeze bunt in the bottom of the fifth inning.

THE ENDING

Trailing 3-2, Cherokee got a one-out single from Price.

Elliot had thrown 108 pitches and Hoover gave the ball to Goodman.

Morelock followed with a line drive to second baseman Anthony Edwards, who turned it into a game-ending double play.

THE LEADERS

Price and Morelock each had two hits for the Chiefs. Collins was the tough-luck loser on the mound, allowing four and four walks with nine strikeouts and just one earned run.

Backus and Logan Rivers had two hits apiece for Boone.

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