Playing to get in…Warriors pull out an entertaining 10-9 win over Central

Published 8:58 am Monday, May 6, 2019



In the play-in game of the District 1-AA baseball tournament, featured was a matchup between the No. 6 seeded Happy Valley Warriors and the No. 7 seeded Sullivan Central Cougars.

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The game had more twist and turns than a Dollywood roller coaster as the Warriors built a big lead early and had to fight off a late-inning surge by the Cougars as Happy Valley lived another day with a thrilling 10-9 win over Central.

Michael Harrah was the starting pitcher for Happy Valley while Ethan Bombailey took the hill for the Cougars.

In the bottom of the second inning with one Warrior out on the board, Harrah got things started with a single to right field. Drew Turner followed suit with another single.

Hunter Smith brought home Harrah to make the score 1-0 in Happy Valley’s favor. Caden Ward was hit by a Bombailey pitch to load the bags full of Warriors.

Jake Absher walked to pick up an RBI making the score 2 to 0. An error on the Cougar third baseman allowed Dylan Willis to reach safely and also allowed Smith to score making the Warrior lead 3-0.

Central kept giving the Warriors gifts as Bart Wilson hit another ball to third which once again was misplayed by the Cougar fielder sending Ward across the plate for a 4-0 advantage.

By the time the Warriors were finished, the scoreboard was showing a comfortable nine-run lead for Happy Valley heading into the third inning of play.

The Warriors had all the momentum going as they headed into the third inning of play.

Isaac Hood got on base with a triple then scored on a wild pitch to make it a 9-1 contest going into the bottom of the third inning where the Warriors were held in check.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Cougars had a field day.

Kaden Lawson started with a single then Bombailey followed with a walk. Ross Beverly had an infield single off a bunt to load the bases.

Jacob Fields hit a two-run double to make the score 9-3. Mason Bucksand continued the hot streak for the Cougars by doling out a two-run double to make it 9-5.

Hood followed the lead of his teammates and blasted an RBI single to end the half inning with the Warriors clinging for dear life to a 9 to 6 edge.

After the Warriors failed to score, Central’s Preston Staubus hit a double. Conner Wilson laid down a perfect bunt making the score 9-7 Happy Valley.

The Cougars pulled the game back into a dead heat in the top of the sixth inning as Trey Sells and Kaden Lawson both had RBI singles to even the score at 9-all.

The Cougar lead, however, wouldn’t last as Willis roped a triple and then on the very next pitch, a wild pitch brought Willis home.

The run would be the game-winner as in the top of the seventh inning, Bryce Carter closed out the game by working a three up and three down frame.

After the game when asked how he felt to be moving on to the next game, Happy Valley head coach Brad Hill said this “It was an emotional win for us. Going up 9-0 was great for us, but I would like to see our approach at the plate to put Central away.

“Give them the credit they battled the whole game. We hurt ourselves defensively by having errors. We have the 12-hour rule where we will think about it tonight and wake up and be ready for East.”

The Happy Valley coach was very appreciative of the effort given by his team in the win.

“On the mound, both pitchers gave a great performance,” added Hill. “Then with Bryce, it doesn’t get much better than him going two innings with no hits and no runs coming in during the sixth with the bases loaded. Getting out of that was huge.”

The Warriors move on to play Sullivan East Friday at Joe O’Brien Field.