By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
JOHNSON CITY Johnson County played before a full house at Arthur Lady field with the deck stacked against them in the 9-10 Little League All-Star Tournament. The Longhorns forced Boone to play a complete six-inning game but fell 17-8 on Thursday after facing their ace.
It appeared as if the game would go quick with Boones Nathan Lhotsky on the mound. The right-hander threw much harder than anyone they had seen in their league so the goal was to try and get him to exceed the 75-limit pitch count.
Johnson Countys manager Brad Reece felt like fatigue might have been a factor.
We got home late after Wednesdays game and had to drive back down here on Thursday, said Reece. Im not making excuses but thats a long trip for this age group after losing one we could have won. We tried to keep them up but all the rain delays and stuff added up. Im sure it affected us some but their first pitcher was really bringing it. We came over here and competed. Were a lot better than many of the teams and were pretty even with a lot of them. Our kids need to realize this. We won one game and were close to winning a couple more.
Things didnt start out well for the Longhorns.
They were minus starting catcher Peyton Pavusek and two of their pitchers had exceeded their pitch count limit and couldnt throw.
They fell behind 4-1 in the first frame and 10-1 after two.
Graham Reece walked and scored on a ground ball out by Zack Parsons in the first.
Reece and Dakota Holt would collect base hits off Lhotsky in the fourth, their first two of the game. He would exceed the 75-limit after walking Mason Shankel on four pitches.
We were down 10-1 and yet they never quit, said Reece about his team. We came back and made it a game. We hung in there with them.
They recorded a six-run fourth to pull within three at 10-7.
Parsons had an RBI single. George Grill, Austin Campbell, Dalton Robinson and Ezra Howard would all walk.
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