Warriors stay alive in loser-bracket play in District 1-AA baseball

Published 8:31 am Wednesday, May 8, 2019



JOHNSON CITY— In the loser bracket portion of the District 1-AA baseball tournament being played at TVA Credit Union Ballpark, Happy Valley faced off against Johnson County to keep their season alive.

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The Longhorns sent Ben Howard to the mound and on the first pitch of the game, Happy Valley’s Jacob Absher reached first base on a bunt.

Absher would steal second base and score on the next pitch on an RBI single by Dylan Willis. Bart Wilson singled pushing Willis to third base. A Bryce Carter fielder’s choice brought Willis home making the score 2-0 in favor of the Warriors.

Bryce Carter came home on a wild pitch making the score 3-0 after the top of the first inning. The Warriors sent Michael Harrah to the mound to try and keep the Longhorns in check.

Johnson County was able to get one of the runs back as Reese Stout’s RBI single brought home Weston Throop making the score 3-1 after one inning of play.

In the top of the third inning, the Warriors would load the bases with three straight walks. Carter added another RBI single for the Warriors making the score 4-1.

The Longhorns would close out the half inning with a beautiful 4-6-1 double play.

Harrah was dominating through four innings as he was entirely in control of the game.

The Warriors got things going again in the fifth inning with two singles back-to-back by Wilson and Zac Workman forcing the Longhorns to change pitchers as Jayden Joiner was brought in. Joiner would strike out the side keeping the score 4-1.

In the home half of the fifth, Petie Pavusek would bring Howard home on an RBI single making it a 4-2 ballgame.

Joiner laid down a perfect bunt to advance Pavusek to third base. Joiner swiped second base on the next pitch putting runners on 2nd and 3rd.

Absher made an incredible play to get the force out at first base forcing the Longhorns to leave two runners stranded in scoring position.

The Warriors added some insurance with Workman hitting an RBI single to push Willis home making the score 5-2.

With three outs remaining to live another game the Warriors did just that as Harrah finished off a complete game dominating from start to finish.

With the win, Happy Valley moved on to face Unicoi County as loser’s bracket action continued in the second game of the evening.

Coach Hill was proud of the win, “I thought we came out and played well. Scoring three runs in the first inning helped the pitching staff tremendously allowing him (Harrah) to pound the strike zone.”

The Warrior coach had high praise for senior pitcher Michael Harrah.

“Michael did a great job today striking out 12 and only walking two,” Hill said. “He’s come on at the end of the season and has been our most reliable arm.

“I am proud of him— glad he was able to go out his senior year with that experience.”