Warrior mistakes, Blue Devil bats combine to crush Happy Valley

Published 2:09 pm Thursday, March 25, 2021

BY AUSTIN ALEXANDER
STAR CORRESPONDENT
HAPPY VALLEY – A sunny evening was the perfect setting for some District 1-AA baseball as the Happy Valley Warriors faced off against the Unicoi County Blue Devils.

Despite the final score of 10-2 both teams saw very good pitching displays but ultimately errors from Happy Valley and supreme batting from Unicoi propelled the Blue Devils to a victory.

Eli Ayers started on the mound for the Warriors and was looking to sit down the Blue Devils early and often. After a popout from the first batter, an error on an infield ground ball put a runner on first.

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Lucas Slagle brought that runner in on a sacrifice fly and the Blue Devils led after a half-frame, 1-0.

The bottom of the second started the Kaleb Metcalf show on the mound for Unicoi as the senior looked unstoppable early going three up and three down during inning one.

The second inning brought more offense for the Blue Devils in the form of errors from the Warriors. Despite an outstanding play by first baseman Hunter Smith, the Happy Valley defense crumbled and a combination of errors and hits made the score 4-0 after one and a half.

Lucas Chausse tried to fire up the bats for HVHS with a leadoff double down the right-field line to start the second, but Slagle would sit down the next three batters for the Warriors.

The third inning spelled more disaster for the Warriors’ defense as a cocktail of errors and hits once again doomed the Warriors into an even deeper hole forcing a pitching change to Corey Volkman.

The pitching change helped close the inning but not before the gap grew to 7-0.

The next two half-innings for the two teams were owned completely by the pitchers as the two combined for six outs on seven batters.

The bottom of the fourth saw a little bit of life finally show back up for the Warriors.

With two outs, Lucas Chausse once again found a way to get on base with an infield hit. Lucas Smith then cracked one to third and the fielder’s choice would leave everyone safe.

Then big Pedro Colunga drove in the two runners with a powerful hit down the left-field line and after four the lead was 7-2.

A possible momentum builder was shut down in the fifth when Colby Chausse made a Derek Jeter-Esque stop and throw at short to end the inning before it could get started and the Warriors looked to keep the bats going.

But they never really could.

A final couple of innings saw much of the same as the HVHS batters couldn’t get in their zone. The Blue Devils would score three more runs in the sixth and seventh and the game would end 10-2 in favor of Unicoi.

Next up for the Warriors is a trip to University High on Thursday where they’ll look to move past the loss in some non-conference action.