Doughboys claim Appy League Title, beat Sock Puppets

Published 1:46 pm Thursday, August 3, 2023

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In a winner take all game, the JC Doughboys flashed brilliant pitching and strong defense to claim their first Appy League title since 2019, and it’s first ever since it has become a wooden bat league. In front of a crowd of well over 4,300 folks, including many River Rider fans, Doughboy’s pitchers Justin Guilano and Hayden¬† Cooper were spot on fanning 14 Sock Puppet in the contest and giving up just one earned run. Milligan University product Caleb Berry did his part as well to bring home the title going 3-4 at the plate while bringing home the final run of the contest.
The game started off with Guilano striking out four of the first six batters he faced. He would use a combination of off-speed and movement to keep the potent Sock Puppets offense off-balance through the first five innings. He would allow no runs and scatter four hits on his way to being named the game MVP. Offensively for the Doughboys, former Science Hill player Caleb Marmo, would hit a sac fly to deep center to score  Danny Infante, who had earlier hit a one-out single to left and then moved to third off a Colby Backus double to account for the first run of the game.
The Johnson City squad would proceed to pick up a couple more runs in the third and fourth innings to go out to a 3-0 lead. Caleb Berry would score off a single provided courtesy of Kenny Mallory in the bottom of the third inning and Isaiah Barkett would scamper home off a Cameron King base knock down the third baseline in the bottom of the fourth. Cooper would come in relief in the top of the sixth and the Sock Puppets would finally start to have a little bit of luck. Kenny Mallory would start the inning off with a walk but in a key moment off the game, Cooper would find Mallory leaning to pick him off for the first out; it would be important as the Sock Puppets would then hit back-to-back base hits, including an Evan Appelwick double to score its first run of the game. But with runners on third and second with only one out, Cooper would induce a groundout and record the first of his eight strikeouts to end the Burlington rally.
The Doughboys would pick up a final insurance run in the bottom of the eighth off a Caleb Berry double. Hooper would record the final two outs in the ninth off swinging strikeouts to bring home the championship to JC. The Doughboys would finish the season with a 35-10 record and be an incredible 21-3 at TVA Credit Union Park. The team will also be remembered for showing off 11 local players from Milligan University, ETSU, or Walters State Community College. Backus and Berry would both go 3-4 in the game. The final stat line in the box for pitchers Guilano and Hooper would reflect one run surrendered, six hits, and 14 strikeouts with only three walks.

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