Rangers shut out Hancock County for region win

Published 10:54 pm Monday, May 16, 2016

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On Monday afternoon the Unaka Rangers played their way to the region 1A championship with a 10-0 win over Hancock County in the region semifinal, played at Claude Holsclaw Field. Senior lefthander Abram Hill pitched a two hit shutout, striking out three and walking none.

“Abe threw a great game,” commented Rangers head coach Tee Blevins. “Two hits and that was big in this situation. We played clean in the field, threw strikes, put the ball in play for the most part and you can’t ask for more than that.”

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Hancock County (11-15-1) had solid pitching from lefthander Braden Fisher but made several errors in the field that extended Unaka innings and put runners on the base paths. Austin Wilson opened the last of the first with a free pass from Fisher and the first of five Indians errors with Hill at the dish put runners on the corners.

With one out John Ramsey singled in the first run and one out later Dakota Gallimore was plunked by Fisher to load the bases. An infield hit by Justin Houghton brought home the second Unaka run and a wild pitch brought Ramsey in to score to make it a 3-0 Rangers lead.

Hill cruised through the second frame with a 1-2-3 inning and the Rangers plated another run in the last of the inning. Isaac Hill singled to left and was on third with two away when Blake King dropped down a perfect bunt in front of the plate with Hill sliding in ahead of the tag for a 4-0 Unaka lead.

“I had never bunted before in my life,” King said. “But that one worked out for me. It feels awesome to be home Wednesday. It shows how hard everybody has worked and how much everybody underestimated us and I couldn’t do it without everybody on the team.”

The Rangers (23-6) blew the lid off with a six run third inning, helped along by a pair of Indian misplays. Isaac Hill plated two runs with his second hit of the day and King had an RBI single to center for his second run batted in.

The Rangers pulled off a double steal with Wilson scoring on the play, an error brought home another run and Gallimore had a sacrifice fly to right as the Rangers built a 10-0 lead. The win combined with South Greene’s 4-0 win over Washburn gives the Rangers the top seed and the home game on Wednesday.

“It’s been a good series of games between us and South Greene this year,” Blevins said. “We have won three and they won two and they have all been pretty close, so both teams will have to come ready to play. It should be a dog fight.”

Region 1A semifinal

Unaka 10-0

Hancock Co. 000 00 – 0 2 5

Unaka 316 0x – 10 8 1

W – A. Hill L – Fisher

DP – U 1. LOB – HC 2, U 10.