In a victory over Unicoi County where Evan Carter dominated on the mound with a three-hit, 11-strikeout performance, the Cyclones lost team leader and standout catcher Evan Perkins to an injury.
Elizabethton’s 6-0 decision came in the winners’ bracket semifinals of the District 1-AA baseball tournament at TVA Credit Union Ballpark on Sunday night.
Perkins appeared to suffer an ankle injury sliding into second base.
“I’m not sure what happened, but I will tell you he’s a great kid,” said Cyclones’ head coach Ryan Presnell. “It’s hard to see one of your kids hurting. But it was a rallying cry for these guys. They know without him it’s a little tougher, but they also know we want to do it for him. We’ve been doing it for Corey Russell all year, too.
“Obviously our prayers are with Evan, and whatever happened, we hope he recovers from it.”
Improving to 22-7 on the season, Elizabethton earned a spot in Tuesday’s winners’ bracket final against Sullivan South at 5 p.m. The Rebels edged Sullivan East, 6-5, earlier Sunday.
Unicoi (11-18) fell into the losers’ bracket and will play Monday at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of the 5 p.m. game between Happy Valley and Johnson County.
The Cyclones’ junior was sharp from the get-go. He did not walk a batter along with his other impressive numbers.
“He just absolutely threw tons and tons of strikes,” said Presnell. “He threw his curveball on all counts, and did what he needed to do to get outs.”
Carter said Perkins was on his mind as well as the other teammates.
“We had a team prayer meeting after (his injury),” said Carter. “We’re going to pray for him and keep him in our thoughts. We’re going to move on, and I know he will be right here with us soon.”
AT THE PLATE
Elizabethton struck for a run in the first inning and added three in the second.
Carter finished with two hits as did Jaden Anderson and Nico Ashley, who also drove in a pair of runs.