Extra-inning run enough for Cyclones
Published 10:45 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2015
by Bryce Phillips
In a game that stayed scoreless until the fifth inning, an extra frame decided the outcome.
In the bottom of the eighth, a sacrifice play by sophomore Garret Hartley – who bunted the ball before being thrown out at first – allowed freshman Ethan Eggelston to advance to second. From second, Eggelston stole third before being brought home by Hunter Richardson, who flew out to right field. Eggelston’s go-ahead run put the Cyclones up 4-3 at the close of the contest.
“Any way we can take a win, we will take a win,” said EHS coach Joe Nix. “For whatever reason, we didn’t have the fire and energy that we need to always bring to the ball park. They took advantage because they are a good baseball team.”
In the top of the fifth, Unaka’s Austin Wilson scored from third after a base hit from Bobby Davenport. Davenport went 1 of 4 from the plate, while recording an RBI.
With the Rangers up one, the Cyclones answered in the same inning with Hunter Hodges blasting a triple to bring in pitcher Cameron Miller. With Hodges on third, Brodie Adams knocked a single to right field to bring in Hodges for the go-ahead run. Heading into the sixth inning, the Cyclones led 2-1.
The bottom of the sixth saw another big run from Eggelston, who stole home to tie the ball game up at three.
This is the second game in row that Eggelston has had a big performances. The freshman pitched all seven innings of the JV Cyclones’ 4-2 win over Happy Valley.
“The kid is just a gamer,” Nix said about Eggelston. “He caught fourteen innings Monday. He threw seven innings last night. I know his body is screaming a little bit, but that is the good thing about being young. He was focused and he did his job. He read pitches in the dirt and advanced bases.”
Like the first four innings, the game was a defensive battle as both teams fought to not allow any runs. For the Cyclones, the key defensive player was pitcher Brodie Adams, who came in during the sixth inning. In the seventh, Adams struck out three batters to leave one Unaka runner on base.
In the extra frame, the pitcher held the Rangers at bay as he recorded two strikeouts to close Unaka’s at bat. Adams finished the game with five strike outs against zero walks, while allowing two runs and two hits.
The Cyclones started the game with pitcher Cameron Miller on the hill, where he threw for six innings. He ended his time on the mound with two stikeouts against two walks, while giving up three hits and one run.
“Adams and Miller did an excellent job on the hill,” Nix said.
In the seventh inning, Unaka pitcher Austin Wilson made a big play when he threw out Hodges, who was trying to steal second. Wilson’s out marked the first of three in an inning in which the Rangers fought off an aggressive Cyclones attack.
The Rangers had Brandon Pierce on the mound first. Pierce pitched five and half innings before being relieved in the sixth by Dylan Lowe. Lowe was changed out for Jon Wright in the seventh.
“I am very proud of all of the boys,” Happy Valley coach Tee Blevins said. “All of our players contributed. We played fundamental baseball. We had great at bats throughout the whole game. We had a few mistakes at the plate during crucial times, which is going to happen with a young team. Defensively, this is one of the best games we have played.”
After a game that stayed tight throughout, coach Blevins was happy the teams gave the crowd a good show.
“This was a great baseball game to watch,” he said. “It went back and forth. It was a close game the entire time; it was just a great game.”