Happy Valley takes win at Unaka behind Carter

Published 8:41 am Monday, April 15, 2019

In baseball, there is no defense against a walk and when you give up seven of them you know you are in for a long day. Especially when the opposing pitcher gives up just two singles over seven frames and walks just two.

That was the way things went on Thursday evening at Claude Holsclaw Field for the Unaka Rangers as Happy Valley senior Bryce Carter tossed a two-hit complete game and the Warriors took a 5-1 nonconference victory.

“Bryce did a great job of attacking the zone,” Warriors manager Brad Hill said. “Very efficient. Threw 86 pitches over seven innings and he got early weak contact and we played pretty good defense behind him.”

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Unaka (10-9 overall) got to Carter in the first inning after he walked Rangers leadoff hitter Devin Ramsey. He quickly stole second and went to third on a ground ball by Reid Taylor and scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield from John ‘Boy’ Ramsey.

The Warriors (5-12 overall) got the lead for Carter with two runs in the top of the second on a leadoff double from Zach Workman followed by three consecutive walks from Unaka lefty Bryson Street.

The third walk forced in the tying run and a sac fly from Caden Ward brought home the lead run and HV led 2-1.

Street got through the third frame unscored upon but Carter led off the fourth with a double and two more free passes loaded the bases from where a balk brought in a run and moved the runners up a base.

Dylan Willis then singled to rightfield to plate two more runs and the Warriors led 5-1 and that is where it would finish. When asked what he had going for him on the bump Carter said, “Off the rip I was a little bit off walking the first batter of the game and he scored on a sac fly. That got under my skin a little bit, but my dad always taught me to keep my cool and that’s all I had to do was keep my cool and trust my pitches. I really felt like my fastball was my best pitch. I tried to get my curveball to work and I got it good one time, but other than that it was my fastball.”

For the Rangers the loss marks the second loss in a row having dropped a 5-1 Watauga Valley Conference game against University High on Wednesday. Rangers manager Tee Blevins said, “The story of our season has been when we throw strikes we win and when we don’t we don’t.”

Happy Valley 5-1

HV 020 300 0 – 5 3 1

Unaka 100 000 0 – 1 2 1

W – Carter L – Street