Cyclones survive Stewart Co. to stay alive in state tournament

Published 10:12 am Thursday, May 24, 2018

In a do-or-die classic, Elizabethton used some tenth-inning fight to down Stewart County, 8-5, during day two of the TSSAA Spring Fling Championships.

The Cyclones climbed ahead 8-5 in the top of the tenth as Elizabethton’s Evan Carter smashed a single to center field, which after an error, allowed both Ryan Wetzel and Carter to score. Carter’s in-the-park home run was followed up by an Evan Perkins RBI double to give Elizabethton a three-run lead heading into the bottom of the frame.

“It’s amazing to fight and get the win,” said Carter. “We came through in the clutch and just fought through the whole time.”

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The Rebels went three-up and three-down in the bottom of the tenth erupting the Cyclone fans into cheer.

Elizabethton’s win comes a day after Stewart Co. topped the Cyclones in game one of the state tournament. Elizabethton head coach Ryan Presnell said that late-game grit is something that the Cyclones work on.

“We work these guys all offseason to give these guys legs and wheels,” said Presnell. “I have told these guys to just keep beating on that door, and that is what they did tonight.”

In the top of the eighth, Elizabethton’s Corey Russell hit a clutch RBI double to score teammate Ethan Eggleston, giving Elizabethton a 5-4 lead.

After an RBI single from Payton Milliken allowed Stewart Co. to tie things up at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth, Rebels Elijah Smith waited at third dying to score the walk-off run with two outs on the board. Milliken led deep off of first. Russell pumped faked to second before turning to third and picking off a tricked Smith, getting Elizabethton out of the tight spot and into the ninth inning.

The Cyclones got on the board in the top of the second inning as Elizabethton’s Jacob Mullins hit an RBI single to score teammate Colton Miller, giving the Cyclones an early 1-0 edge.

A Dailey double scored Elizabethton’s Corey Russell, who had reached on a single, in the top of the third inning to move the Cyclones edge to 2-0.

In the fourth, EHS moved its lead to 4-0 in the as Russell brought home both Evan Carter and Ethan Eggleston with a two-RBI single. The Rebels, however, retaliated in the bottom of the frame as Stewart County’s Elijah Smith smacked a line-drive double to score teammates Brandt Bramlett and Devin Ferrell, tightening the game to 4-2.

Walks loaded up the bases for Stewart County before Rebels Logan Beecham connected on a ground-ball single to score Stewart’s Caleb Mulcahy and Thornton Gray, making it a 4-4 ballgame heading into the sixth inning.

The Cyclones racked up 19 hits with both Russell and Ethan Eggleston both recording four hits each.

On the mound, Matthew Dailey (4.2 IP, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 3 H, 4 R) and Corey Russell (5.1 IP, 3 Ks, 2 BB, 3 H, 1 R) took to the field.

The Cyclones win over Stewart Co. comes on the same day that Elizabethton topped Grundy, 12-0. Elizabethton pitchers Tre Shoun, Karson Dillard, and Colton Miller recorded a combined shutout during the Cyclones’ win over Grundy.

Today, the Cyclones will take on Riverside at 3 p.m. EST. The Cyclones have to defeat Riverside twice to make it into the championship.