By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
The hump that Johnson County’s baseball team has been trying to get over grew larger on Tuesday in Mountain City. Unicoi County came to town and dealt them a 10-3 conference loss, their third consecutive one. The Longhorns were coming off a one-run loss at Sullivan East and another loss to North where they led by one late in the game. But they didn’t keep fans in suspense during this one. The Blue Devils erupted for three runs in the first inning to grab an early advantage. They put it away with a six-run uprising in the fourth.
“We made a few mistakes and they capitalized on them,” said Johnson County’s head skipper Pete Pavusek. “They make a few and we don’t. We didn’t get the pitching we needed and we left too many runners on. That’s pretty much the bottom line.” Pavusek couldn’t have summed the game up any better.
The Longhorns stranded 13 base runners including two or more in four of the seven innings. Singles by Dylan Putman, Justin Laughen and Hunter Higgins led to a three-run first inning. So did a walk to Tony Podium and Nick Fender getting plunked. Johnson County had a chance to dent the board in the first when Nick Whitener reached on an error and Peyton Fenner singled, but Caleb Wilson got the last batter to ground out ending the inning. The Longhorns closed the deficit at 3-1 in the third, but it could have been more.
Samuel Icenhour, Alex Tressler, Fenner and Logan Sargent all had singles, but the Horns could muster only one run. The Blue Devils put the game away with seven runs over the next two frames including their six-pack in the fourth.
Five singles, two costly errors and a hit batter was part of the stew that cooked their goose. Johnson County’s final two runs came in the seventh.
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