Cyclones slide past Blue Devils in Upper Lakes play

Published 2:19 pm Thursday, March 21, 2024

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It was a special day for the Elizabethton Cyclones as they took the field at Northeast Community Credit Union Ball Park on a newly installed turf.

The Cyclones made it even more special by taking a close battle with rival Upper Lakes Conference Unicoi Co. Blue Devils with a 2-1 victory to even their early season home and away matchup bouncing back from a 5-2 loss in previous day action.

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The opening three innings featured strong defense and good pitching from both teams as the game was scoreless.

However, that changed in the top of the fourth when the Blue Devils drew first blood as with one out, the Blue Devils Nicky Satterly sent a ball toward Cyclone shortstop Steven Meadows with Satterly reaching on an error charged to Meadows.

The Cyclones were looking to get out of the inning after Ty Engle flew out for the innings second out. Isaac Harris worked a walk from starting pitcher Bryson Rowland putting runners at first and second.

Kaden Cutlip took advantage of the new life and loaded the bases with a single. A wild pitch from Rowland on a 2-2 count allowed Satterly to scamper home to give Unicoi Co. a 1-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fourth.

The Cyclones pulled even in the bottom of the frame with one out as third baseman Rhett Slagle took a 1-1 offering into left field for a single. Justin Whitehead drove Slagle home when a pitch to left for a RBI double to make it a 1-1 game.

Elizabethton put the game-winning run on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning as right fielder Jeriah Griffin got the inning started with a double to center.

The Blue Devils responded by retiring the next two Cyclone batters as Griffin worked to third on a steal.

Rowland was walked and Meadows made amends for his earlier error by picking up Griffin on a RBI single to center.

From there, the Cyclones held the Blue Devils at bay to take the win.

Rowland was the winning pitcher working four innings of baseball allowing the only Blue Devil run on one hit while recording four strikeouts and five walks.

Jackson Buckles tossed two innings of relief allowing one hit, one walk, and four strikeouts in his mound work.

Meadows earned the save by tossing one inning of baseball with one strikeout.

Gavin Tipton was the hard-luck losing pitcher for Unicoi Co. as the senior pitched a complete game allowing two runs on two errors, two base on balls, and recording eight strikeouts.

Logan Campbell and Brayden Buckles recorded one hit apiece for the Cyclones to account for the six hits in the game.