University High holds off Rangers; North Greene rallies past Hampton

Published 3:14 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

JONESBOROUGH – The scoreboard kept rattling off zeroes in this one as Unaka sophomore John Ramsey faced junior Jack Bembry in the District 1-A baseball tournament on Monday evening at Warren Miller Park at David Crockett High School.
University High struck for three runs in the top of the eighth and Bembry made those runs hold up in a 3-2 win over the Rangers. Unaka will face Hampton at 5 pm today in the losers bracket.
Ramsey pitched 7.2 innings giving up two runs on seven hits. He struck out six and walked two while Bembry pitched a complete game. He surrendered two runs on four hits while striking out seven and walking two.
The Rangers ran themselves out of two possible scoring chances with the first coming in the bottom of the first. Second baseman Isaac Hill tripled to right centerfield with one away, and junior shortstop bounced a ball to third base that Jakob Hare was unable to make a play on putting Unaka runners on the corners.
Sophomore John Wesley Hardin then hit a bouncer toward second base that struck King in the base path and Hill had to return to third and junior first baseman Bryson Street grounded to first to end the threat.
“Base running errors hurt,” Rangers head coach Tee Blevins said. “That first one Blake said he didn’t see it. The sun is tough in that direction, and he couldn’t find it until the last second. Isaac kind of stopped halfway but that’s baseball. I think the difference was that we helped Bembry – he threw a great game – but we swung at a lot of pitches up. If we don’t help him out, I know it may have been different.”
In the third frame Hill singled with one out and with two away Hardin hit a ball to third whose throw to first pulled Brant Hare off the base for an error. Hill was thrown out attempting to reach third on the play, and the score stood 0-0.
Neither team scored through seven innings, but in the top of the eighth Bembry walked with one away and Hunter Seehorn singled to put Bucs runners on the corners. Carter Pollack’s fly ball to right was deep enough for Bembry to tag and score for a 1-0 lead.
Jakob and Brant Hare each delivered consecutive RBI hits as UH built a 3-0 lead.
In the last of the eighth, Unaka rallied with King hitting a triple to centerfield with one away. He came in on a wild pitch, and John Wesley Hardin walked. Hunter Rice singled for the second run of the game, and Dakota Gallimore kept the rally going with a single to left. Bembry then retired Austin Beauprez on strikes to end the contest.
“My best pitch tonight was my up and away fastball,” Bembry said. “I used it to my advantage quite a bit today. My defense played good, and in that last rally we absolutely fed off each other.”
UH will square off against North Greene at 7:30 p.m today.

University High 3-2 (8 innings)
University High 000 000 03 – 3 9 3
Unaka 000 000 02 – 2 4 0
W – Bembry L – Ramsey
LOB – U 9, UH 9. 3B – Hill, King.

Game Two
North Greene 2, Hampton 1.
North Greene broke through in the last of the fifth after Austin Porter was hit by a pitch and went to second on a wild pitch. He stole third and came across on a ground ball by Evan Pierce to Jacob Byrd at first base, but his throw to the plate was not in time.
Senior left-hander Wyatt Lyons pitched well over his four and two-thirds innings for the Bulldogs, giving up one run on two hits while striking out 12 and walking one. His counterpart Zane Potter surrendered one run on four hits over his seven-inning pitching stint.
Hampton took advantage of some shaky North Greene defense to tie the score at 1-1 in the sixth as David Fleenor was hit by a pitch to open the frame. One out later Gavin Hardin singled to left. Jacob Byrd hit a fielder’s choice that failed to get the lead runner and courtesy runner Will Street scored on a wild pitch.
A scary moment happened with Brenden Ailport at the plate as he fouled a pitch off his face and was taken off the field under his own power.
North Greene pushed the winning run across in the last of the seventh as Cameron Freshour singled with one away off reliever Gavin Hardin. Evan Pierce followed with a single and Denver Weems followed by getting hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Leadoff hitter Andy Stevens dropped a bunt to the mound and Hardin’s play to the plate was not in time.
The Bulldogs will play Unaka today at 5 pm in an elimination game.

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North Greene 2-1
Hampton 000 001 0 – 1 4 0
N.Greene 000 010 1 – 2 5 2
W – Potter L – Hardin