Bulldogs collar Huskies with thrilling finish

Published 9:14 am Wednesday, April 4, 2018

With the game tied at 2-2 in the top of the seventh, Hampton’s twin Streets executed the sacrifice bunt and run to perfection giving the Bulldogs a 3-2 over North Greene Tuesday.

The seventh inning started with Hampton’s Weston Street (12) being hit by North Greene pitcher Cayden Foulks. Before Weston’s twin brother, Landon Street, came to bat the Huskies called time and held a meeting on the mound. Coach Perkins held his own meeting with the Street brothers and with Owens to plan their strategy for the win. After talking about bunting Weston to second and letting their big guns do the rest, Landon Street (10) laid down a perfect bunt between the pitching mound and first base. An off-balance throw by Foulks got by first baseman Jonah Palmer allowing Weston to score the game winner all the way from first base.

“We won the game on executing the inside game, small ball,” said Perkins. “The importance of bunt ball game, you see this when Landon Street, laid down a well-executed bunt to score his twin brother Weston on a miscue by North Greene. North Greens is a good baseball club, we may see them again in the postseason. I’m just very happy for my community, my players and our school.”

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Hampton started the game off right plating one run each in the first two innings of the game. Dru Owens (2) led off with a single in the bottom of the first and came around to score as the Bulldogs sent six to the plate in the inning. The second saw DH Hunter Davenport (26) walk to start the inning, coming around to score on an RBI double by Owens.

Head coach Nicholas Perkins had nothing but praise for his starting pitcher.

“Dalton Rouse, our lefthander sophomore, he is our ace pitcher,” said Perkins. “Northeast Tennessee, we can talk triple-A, double-A, single-A, he is one of the top pitchers, not throwers, but he is one of the best pitchers in northeast Tennessee.”

Rouse pitched a complete game, striking out seven, allowing four hits and only one earned run on 96 pitches.

Hampton’s defense was strong behind Rouse, but a sixth-inning error by shortstop Owens on a bad hop grounder by the Huskies Turner Bailey (16), and a poor throw to first allowed Kole Zirkle (12) to score from second tying the game at two.

Rouse gave up a single to North Greene’s Cayden Foulks, who was caught stealing on the next pitch, and a walk to in the top half seventh. He then got the final two outs on ground balls to close the inning.