Bulldogs lose heartbreaker in opening round of district tourney

Published 4:04 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2022

JONESBOROUGH – With the Unaka Rangers opening up the TSSAA Class 1A District 1 Tournament with a loss to University High on Monday, it was the Hampton Bulldogs’ turn to compete in the tourney, taking on the Huskies of North Greene.

With the Bulldogs being the visiting team on the scoreboard, Hampton would open things up. And it did not take long for the Bulldogs to open up the scoring effort, with Morgan Lyons reaching second base and being brought home during the next at-bat, scoring on a throwing error from North Greene’s man on the mound Tanner Sexton.

But North Greene would answer right back in the bottom frame, with Jeshua Crawford sending a double to right center field and bringing home Brady Harkleroad in the process. Heading into the second inning of play, things were all knotted up at one a piece.

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Action would pick back up in the top of the fourth inning when a routine ground ball out to the shortstop turned into Hampton’s Conor Jones making a break for home plate after an errant throw to third base, giving the Bulldogs the lead once again midway through the fourth, 2-1.

And just like in the first frame, the Huskies would answer back in their half of the fourth inning, with Don Stansfield sending a ground ball through the gap just past the outstretched glove of Caleb Royston to bring home Seth Charlton. Heading into the fifth, things were once again tied up at two a piece.

After another break in the action, North Greene would strike again, as a bouncing ball in the infield hit by Stransfield would result in a fielder’s choice bringing Charlton home again to take a 3-2 advantage.

And in the very next bat, Drexel Gant would keep the scoring effort going with a nine drive over second base to bring two more runners across and make it a 5-2 contest with only three outs left for Hampton to work with.

Despite a valiant effort from the Bulldogs in their last moments, Hampton would fall short and lose their first game of the tournament by a final score of 5-2.

The Bulldogs will take on Unaka tomorrow evening after the opening contest of North Greene vs. University High at 5 p.m. in a game that will determine who keeps playing in the tournament. The contest will take place at David Crockett High School.