By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
BLOUNTVILLE—Johnson County dominated for nearly four innings against highly regarded Sullivan Central until a couple of miscues awoke the sleeping giant. The Cougars rallied from a 4-0 deficit to knock off the Longhorns 11-6 on Monday afternoon in Blountville.
The Longhorns appeared ready to take down the second place Cougars until a couple of errors with one out led to four base hits and six unearned runs.
“We had some good starts where we’ve been ahead, but we haven’t been able to keep the lead,” said JCHS’ head coach Pete Pavusek. “You can’t give a good team any outs and expect to win. It’s frustrating because we could have won this one today. All we had to do was make plays.”
Pavusek hit the nail on the head when summing up the game.
The Longhorns had played exceptionally up to the point when the disaster occurred.
Base hits by Shane Greer and Josh Tierney got on the board with two outs in the first inning.
The Longhorns used a single from Stephen Osborne and the speed of Bud Icenhour, who beat out an infield single to go up 3-0 in the second frame. Jonathan Arnold reached on an error and scored before that.
Central had trouble hitting off Johnson County’s Josh Tierney who retired the side in order in the third. The Cougars had only one hit after three innings.
The Horns put one more on the board to go up 4-0 in the top of the fourth. Bud Icenhour came home on a throw down to second after ripping a single to lead off the inning.
Tierney retired the first out in the bottom half, bu
t a couple of critical errors enabled Central to string together four singles that led to six runs.
The Cougars built their advantage at 7-4, but the Longhorns would get back to within one in the sixth.
Two errors and an infield single by Bud Icenhour cut the deficit to 7-6, but Central answered with five more in the bottom half to extend their lead back to 11-6. Two more errors by the Horns resulted in only two of those runs earned.
Tierney pitched four strong innings for the Horns allowing only five hits and zero earned runs. Arnold hurled the final two innings.
Greer and Bud Icenhour had a pair of hits to pace the Longhorns. Pete Pavusek, Arnold, Weston Throop, Osborne and Tierney added one hit each.
Jacob Fields topped the Cougars with three hits. Cade Grayer provided two hits for the winners now 5-1.
The Longhorns (0-2, 0-4) will play Unicoi County at home on Wednesday in a makeup game at 5 pm. They were to play again on Tuesday at home versus the Cougars.
120 102 0 – 6 10 4
000 605 x – 11 1o 3
Tierney, Arnold (5) and
Pavusek. Sells, Acres (7) and Mumpower.