Warriors blow chances again, lose to Unicoi Co., 7-5
Published 12:12 am Wednesday, March 25, 2015
By Gene Renfro
Happy Valley was right there but for a second straight day fell to a Three Rivers Conference baseball power, this time a 7-5 setback at home against Unicoi County Tuesday.
“Once you start believing in yourself, these wins will come,” Happy Valley head coach Caleb Moore said. “We’re right there with the best of everybody in this conference.We’ve just got to get over that mental block of thinking that we’re not good enough. I want these guys to believe in themselves and just relax. We’ve got nothing to lose.”
In all, the Warriors left seven runners on base, five of whom were in scoring position.
Included in that total were Ryne Baines and Sage Haun, each of whom reached base when he was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning as the Warriors were down 7-4. A bunt single from Taylor Hurley loaded the bases, but back-to-back strikeouts by Chris Young and Zack Hyder put two outs on the board before Alton Clark grounded out.
“We didn’t capitalize on a lot of opportunities, bases loaded and no outs,” Moore said. “You’ve got to live for those moments. That’s when I’d been fighting to get to the bat rack because I’m wanting to drive in some runs.”
Happy Valley did get a 4-1 lead thanks to a productive fourth inning. Dustin Sams drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game. A wild pitch allowed Caleb Rice, a pinch runner forJustin Maupin, to touch home. Later, another wild pitch let Baines come in as well. After a pitching change, Hyder sent a ball to second, where it was misplayed for an error, which allowed pinch runner Dylan Townsend to score the inning’s final run.
Unicoi County also left runners on base, but the Blue Devils produced back-to-back three-run outbursts to take a 7-4 lead halfway through the sixth. In both innings, Unicoi County batted around. Shaddon Peavyhouse had two hits in those innings as he finished the day 3-for-5. Sam McInturff scored in the fifth and sixth as part of a 2-for-4 day.
The Warriors got a run in the seventh with an RBI groundout from Maupin as Townsend scored. Townsend doubled to deep center to start the inning and potential rally.
On the mound, Taylor Hurley was the losing pitcher. He went the final 2 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on six hits. He walked one, struck out one, hit a Unicoi County batter and uncorked a wild pitch.
Unicoi County’s Nathan Derry completed the game for the win. It took him 41 pitches to work through the last 3 2/3 innings, where he faced 15 Warrior batters. He gave up the last-inning run with two hits.
The Warriors, now 6-3 on the season overall and 3-3 in the league, welcomes county foe Cloudland for a Thursday meeting.
Pitchers: Unicoi County – Will Hubard; Nathan Derry(4) and Hunter Higgins. Happy Valley -Dustin Sams; Caleb Rice(5); Taylor Hurley(5) and Justin Maupin.Win-Nathan Derry Loss-Taylor Hurley Dustin Sams faced 5 batters in the 5th.