By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Knocking off your neighboring rival is always a good thing when you’re Johnson County. Getting wins over Hampton and Happy Valley makes it even better.
The Longhorns defeated Happy Valley 11-4 on Wednesday in a make-up game on their home diamond and Hampton 14-4 on Thursday.
It was the fourth win in a row for the Longhorns who are playing good baseball with tournament time just around the corner.
Johnson County 11
Happy Valley 4
The Longhorns spotted Happy Valley an early 2-1 lead but took control of the contest by putting four runs on the board in the third to go up 6-3.
“I thought we played pretty well,” said head coach Pete Pavusek on Thursday just before the Hampton contest. “Our pitching is starting to come around, and we’re finally getting some key hits. We need to do a better job making plays in the field because we can’t give up runs and expect to win.”
Jonathan Arnold singled and scored Johnson County’s first run of the game after the Warriors took a 2-0 advantage. They tied the game in the second inning thanks to a pair of walks and a groundout.
The Warriors took advantage of two Johnson County errors to move in front 3-2 to start the third, but the Horns would recover quickly.
Five walks and singles by Arnold and Shane Greer led
to a four-run output.
The Longhorns put the game away by scoring twice in the fourth inning and three more times in the fifth.
Shane Greer supplied the offense by swatting three hits with two RBI’s. Arnold added a pair of hits and two, runs scored. Gabe Reece was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Reece Stout drove in a pair of runs.
Greer pitched five strong innings to earn the win on the mound for Johnson County. Ben Howard came on to record a pair of strikeouts in the two innings that he pitched.
Will Hampton had two hits and a pair of walks to lead the Warriors. Kevin Whitaker was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Happy Valley walked nine Longhorn batters in the game.
Happy Valley 201 010 0 – 4 7 1
JCHS 114 023 x – 11 7 1
Johnson County 14
Hampton was hoping to salvage a split by knocking off the Longhorns but couldn’t find the way to do so.
The Bulldogs got a pair of unearned runs in the first to
go up 2-0, but Johnson
County tied the game in the bottom half thanks to singles by Bud Icenhour and Shane
Greer and a walk to Jonathan Arnold.
Base hits by Hunter Davenport, Dru Owens, and Gavin Hardin put the Dogs back on top 4-2 in the second, but the Horns would score three times in the third to take the lead for good at 5-4.
Greer, Josh Tierney, Reece Stout, Petie Pavusek and Jayden Joiner all had base hits that enabled them to regain the
momentum in their 3-run uprising.
Greer drove in Arnold with a sac fly in the fourth that
extended their advantage
at 6-4. Johnson County followed that up with a quartet of runs in the fifth and sixth innings that allowed them
to win by way of the 10-run rule.
Jayden Joiner went the distance on the mound for Johnson County allowing only two earned runs while striking out eight.
Greer had three hits, and three RBIs to lead the Longhorns. Tierney had a big day going 3-for-4. Icenhour provided a pair of hits and scored three times. Arnold scored four times, getting hit by a pitch while drawing a trio of walks. Stout collected a base hit and two RBI’s. Pavusek was 1-for-3 with an RBI and run scored.
Owens, Hardin, Landon Street, Caleb Oaks and Hunter Davenport had a base hit apiece for the Bulldogs.
Hampton 220 000 – 4 6 2
JCHS 202 144 – 14 11 4