Cyclones top Unicoi to keep momentum alive

Published 2:10 am Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Scoring 37 runs over the last three games, the Cyclones are a team that’s jiving at the right time.

Elizabethton danced to a 11-0 victory over Unicoi during the District 1-AA winners’ bracket final in Johnson City Monday.

“The day off yesterday really helped us,” said Elizabethton head coach Ryan Presnell. “We were able to get some guys in the cage and get some work in. They did a good job of executing the game plan in doing what we have done all year in being patient hitters and when you get the opportunity to swing—swing big.”

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With the Cyclones the playing tough defense, Elizabethton senior pitcher Tre Shoun tossed a shutout as he held the Blue Devils to just five hits over six innings. Shoun would have three strikeouts against one walk. Shoun was quick to credit the Cyclones that guarded the field behind him.

“The defense made a lot of good plays,” said Shoun. “I don’t even know how many strikeouts I had but it was very few. This one is on the defense.”

Even though the Cyclones faced Unicoi ace Clay Simpson, who held ‘Betsy to just two hits in the regular season, Elizabethton was able to finish with 10 hits on the night. EHS’s Corey Russell led the way with two hits as he reeled in three RBIs. Cyclones Logan Estep had two also while teammates Evan Carter and Evan Perkins each had two RBIs apiece.

“Hats off to Clay Simpson, he played his heart,” said Presnell. “It very well could have gone the way other way as it did the last we played them, and he shuts us down completely. He’s a great kid and a great battler.”

The game went scoreless up until the third inning when Elizabethton posted two runs with Russell and Carter getting RBI singles in the inning.

‘Betsy kept up production in the fourth with a six-run rally with Russell netting another RBI single before stealing home on a double steal for the final run of the frame. Heading into the fifth, EHS held a solid 8-0 lead.

Elizabethton scored its final three runs in the sixth as Estep sandwiched an RBI double between two RBI singles from Jacob Mullins and Perkins to give the game its final total.

The contest ended on a high note as the Cyclones picked up their fourth double play of the night with EHS’s Matthew Dailey tagging a runner out before firing the ball over to first for the final out.

The Cyclones will now compete in Tuesday’s championship round.