Owning the ‘Hill…. Cyclones topple ‘Toppers 5-4 in a classic finish

Published 8:32 am Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Elizabethton Cyclones went into Monday night’s baseball contest with the Science Hill Hilltoppers looking to do something that no Cyclone program has done possibly and that is to sweep Science Hill in the three major sports that include football, basketball (two games), and baseball.

Mission accomplished!

Trailing 4-3 going to the bottom of the sixth inning, the Cyclones plated two runs to take a 5-4 lead and held on to take the win in a classic baseball showdown between two teams that have high chances of advancing deep into their respective tournaments that are upcoming this weekend.

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Science Hill jumped on top first taking advantage of a Cyclone error in the top of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead.

After the ‘Toppers added a second run in the top of the third inning, Elizabethton pulled even in the bottom half of the inning.

Nico Ashley got the ball rolling for the Cyclones when the center fielder slapped a single to lead off the frame.

Ashley went on to steal second base before Karson Dillard worked a walk to place runners at first and second base for Elizabethton.

Things looked a little bleak as Science Hill retired two straight batters before Evan Perkins ripped a double to left field that plated both Cyclone runners to make it a 2-2 ballgame.

Perkins, playing heads-up baseball, stole third base which proved big as Matthew Dailey’s ground ball to short was misplayed by the ‘Topper shortstop allowing Perkins to score the go-ahead run and make it 3-2 Elizabethton after three complete innings of baseball.

After a scoreless fourth inning by both teams, Science Hill pulled back even with the Cyclones thanks to a double and single that allowed a ‘Topper run to score to flip the scoreboard to 3-all.

The ‘Toppers edged out front in the top of the sixth inning thanks to a single and a triple allowing the visitors to take a slim 4-3 advantage heading into the bottom of the inning.

Elizabethton, as they have done all season, never panicked and took advantage of what the ‘Toppers were willing to offer to pull back out front 5-4.

Dailey walked with one out and was lifted for pinch runner Austin Burchfield. Lawson Wagner followed suit by drawing another walk to put runners at first and second.

An error by Science Hill’s first baseman allowed Burchfield to come around with a run to make it a 4-4 contest.

Solid baserunning by Wagner on a Jacob Mullins groundout gave the Cyclones a lead that they would hold onto to take the win as Wagner came on in relief of Evan Carter in the top of the seventh inning and slammed the door on the ‘Toppers.

Science Hill outhit the Cyclones 10-4 in the contest and stranded 14 baserunners. Bryson Rollins and Carter picked up a hit apiece to go with Perkins and Ashley’s base knock.

Carter struck out five ‘Topper batters in his 5 2/3 innings of work while Wagner added a pair of strikeouts.