Cyclones drop heartbreaker to Smith-Cotton on baseball diamond

Published 10:45 am Friday, March 31, 2023

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The Elizabethton High School Cyclones went hunting for some Tigers Thursday as Coach Ryan Presnell’s team was looking to take down the Tigers of Smith-Cotton High School from Missouri on the diamond.
From the onset, it appeared that the Cyclones had laid the perfect trap for the Tigers leading 7-4 through four innings of baseball, but the Tigers dug in their claws in the top of the fifth to plate four runs to take the win by an 8-7 score.
The Cyclones outhit their opponent, 8-5, on the day but it just wasn’t enough.
After the Tigers from Sedalia, MO opened the contest by putting three runs on the board in the top of the first inning, the Cyclones quickly answered back in the bottom of the frame.
Kaleb Hambrick opened the inning by ripping a triple to right field. Bryson Rowland followed by drawing a walk and on a 1-0 count, stole second base, with Hambrick scoring on a steal of home plate as well.
Rowland took third on a wild pitch as Peyton Johnson drew another walk to put runners on the corner. Johnson wasted little time in advancing to second with a steal of his own before Hayden Nave connected with a single to score Hambrick, making it a 3-2 ballgame with no one out.
Nave added the fourth stolen base of the inning before Rhett Slagle roped a double to left bringing home Johnson to tie the game at 3-3. A Steven Meadows single picked up Nave to give the Cyclones the 4-3 lead at the end of the first inning.
Smith-Cotton evened the game in the top half of the second, 4-4, but once again the Cyclones had an answer scoring two runs in the bottom of the frame.
Hambrick was once again in the middle of the scoring as he laced a single to open the inning. Rowland was pegged by the Tiger pitcher and Johnson’s walk filled the bags with Cyclones.
Nave became the second Cyclone to be hit by a pitch to score Hambrick. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Slagle chased Rowland home after tagging up and the Cyclones led 6-4 after two complete innings of baseball.
Both teams were held scoreless in the third inning and Smith-Cotton was unable to do anything with Cyclone hurler Connor Edmundson in the top of the fourth.
Elizabethton tacked on a solo run in the home half of the fourth inning as back-to-back singles from Johnson and Nave started the inning. A Slagle fly ball to center allowed Johnson to tag and move to third base.
A Meadows fielder’s choice ground ball scored Johnson as the Cyclones led 7-4 after four complete innings.
However, that lead wasn’t going to hold as the Tigers came roaring back in the top of the fifth inning.
An error and a hit batter started things off for Smith-Cotton before a double scored one run. Back-to-back walks filled the bases with Tigers. A sacrifice fly scored another run making it 7-6 before a Cyclone error allowed the tying run to score.
A line-drive double to center field brought home the go-ahead run as the Tigers held an 8-7 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth inning.
Unfortunately for the Cyclones, all they could muster was a base on balls to JD Hooks as the Tigers closed out the contest with a win.
Hambrick was 3-for-4 on the day, while Nave finished 2-for-2 for Elizabethton. Nave, Slagle, and Meadows collected two RBIs. Edmundson pitched 4.1 innings of baseball, allowing eight runs on four hits, striking out three and issuing four walks.
The Cyclones had six stolen bases in the contest.

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