Cyclones use sixth-inning rally to top Sullivan South

Published 10:50 pm Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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After five innings of play, there wasn’t much to say about the Cyclones’ Three Rivers Conference game against Sullivan South Wednesday in Kingsport.

But then the sixth inning happen, and a game that was scoreless became very interesting as the Cyclones opened the flood gate and posted six runs to jump out to a 6-0 lead, before fending off a Rebels seventh-inning rally for a 6-4 win.

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With the victory over South (8-2 TRC), the Cyclones (8-2 TRC) are tied with the Rebels for first in the TRC.

The top of the sixth got started with EHS’ Bo Pless making it to first off of an error, before being pushed to third by a double from Corey Russell. With a runner at second and third, Brodie Adams walk to first to load the bases. With no outs and the slate full, things were looking good for Cyclones’ Gabe Treadway as he stepped up to the plate, and he didn’t let the opportunity go to waste. Treadway blasted a 2-RBI single to bring in both Pless and Russell to put EHS up 2-0.

“I think it got us going,” Treadway said about the two runs he helped net. “It was a big up and down situation. I could have easily struck out which could have got us down. But I got the hit, and I really think it got things going for us.”

And go the Cyclones did. With Treadway and Adams on second and third, EHS’ Jesse Carr put down a sacrifice bunt to bring Adams to the house. An out later, EHS’ Drew Wetzel hit a single to put him and Treadway on the corners, before Ethan Eggleston blasted a 2-RBI double to bring in his two teammates, giving the Cyclones a 5-0 advantage. The last run of the big inning came from Eggleston, who scooted home off a fly ball by Michael Robinson that was dropped by a South outfielder.

EHS head coach Ryan Presnell was visibly pleased with his Cyclones after their big inning. Presnell said the team knew they were in a good position as they headed into the sixth and knew exactly what they needed to do.

“We know what we can do, and we know ourselves better than most high school baseball teams out there,” Presnell said after Wednesday’s game. “We understand that in the innings prior when we put on the pressure, those things add up. We understand that we have to keep up with that.

“We use the analogy of a poker game, Presnell continued. “We are going to keep up with our strategy, and when things get down, we are not going to pull our chips off of the table. We are going to put in all the chips and double down on the things we know how to do.”

The Rebels, down 6-0 with just one at bat left, conducted a come back effort that almost paid off. Over the course of the bottom of the seventh, South was able to post four runs to cut EHS’ lead to 6-4.

“They are a heck of a baseball team,” Presnell said about South. “We will see them again. It is just a great conference this season.”

Before the sixth, the star of the show was EHS pitcher Garrett Hartley. For the first four innings, Hartley didn’t give up one hit, and ended up only allowing three over the entire game. Hartley would toss up through part of the seventh, before being relieved by Russell. Hartley threw 103 pitches while striking out five hitters against two walks.

“It feels good,” Hartley said. “I have worked all year to throw a game like that and it finally paid off.”

At the plate, the Cyclones finished the game with 10 hits. Both Eggleston and Treadway went 2-of-4, with Eggleston recording a double and two RBIs and Treadway finishing up with 2 RBIs. Robinson went 2-of-3 with a triple and an RBI.

The Cyclones will pick things up with a trip to Tennessee High today, where they will play a double header, taking on Tennessee High first and then playing David Crockett.