Warriors sneak past University High, 2-0

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2016

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Star Photo/Bryce Phillips Happy Valley pitcher Ducan Hodge lets a pitch fly during the Warriors’ game with University High Wednesday at the Harry L. Gibson Field in Johnson City.

JOHNSON CITY— Much like Tom Hank’s character in “Cast Away”, the Warriors spent most of their day stranded as they grabbed a 2-0 win over University High in a five-inning contest Tuesday.

Happy Valley left ten batters on base over the course of its game with the Buccaneers, something of which Happy Valley head coach Brad Hill believes the Warriors can’t do in a tough Three Rivers Conference.

“Majority of those left on base today were in a scoring position,” Hill said. “We have to find a way to get those runs in. Our offense is going to struggle when we can’t get runs in from second and third with no out or bases loaded with no outs. It is going to come back and bite us eventually.”

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Defensively, the Warriors were pretty solid Tuesday. From the mound, Duncan Hodge worked for five as he struck out four batters while giving up four hits and three walks.

“Duncan did a great job today,” Hill said. “He was able to get out of some jams. They had some runners in scoring position there in fourth inning and we were able to get out of it without giving up any runs. I thought he did a great job making pitches when he needed to to get us out of those type of jams.”

Playing behind Hodge was a consistent group of fielders. The outfielders were able to snag five bombs, with Hunter Jones covering a lot of ground in the right field. He ended the game with three catches with back-to-back grabs in the bottom of the third. However, the biggest catch of the game came in the bottom of the fifth, with Taylor Hurley making a catch while falling backwards to end the game.

“University High came and swung the bats well today,” Hill said. “They put a charge on some balls, and we were able to get to them. Timmy Masters made some ranging plays in the outfield and so did Hunter Jones. And at the end of the game, we had our outfield players playing no double so they are deep, and Taylor knows he has got to get that ball. And he really went out there got it and made a spectacular play to end the game.”

The Warriors posted both of their runs in the first inning. The first run came from Taylor Hurley, who reached base on an error, before being brought home by a sacrifice fly by Ryne Baines. Tyler Hurley came in for the second run as he came home off an RBI ground out by Duncan Hodge.

The Warriors only recorded two hits during the game with both Hodge and Jones blasting doubles.

Happy Valley has back-to-back non-conference games as they host Sullivan Central on tonight and West Greene on Saturday. The Warriors hope to use this non-conference action to get back track after two consecutive TRC games to Elizabethton and Sullivan South.

“A win is always good to get your momentum going,” Hill said. “We were able to break that little skid we had going. Hopefully, we can use this momentum and win a couple in a row for another winning streak.”