By Tim Chambers
KINGSPORT—Johnson County was hoping for a hat trick over Happy Valley but instead saw the Warriors prevail after two previous losses to the Horns. Their 7-4 victory on Monday night inside of J. Fred Johnson Stadium ended the Longhorns season at 5-13.
It was also a repeat of last year’s District 1-AA tournament that saw them depart with two consecutive losses.
The Longhorns appeared to be having everything going their way, leading 2-0 after the Warriors committed three errors in the third inning.
The Longhorns returned the favor by allowing the Warriors to score two unearned runs in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. But they weren’t finished.
Happy Valley had only one hit in the inning but took advantage of three costly Longhorn errors and two hit batters. They led 5-2 after four.
Dustin Sams did his share of sending the Longhorns packing. He nearly went the distance on the mound to get the win. At the plate he was 3-4 with three RBI’s. Will Hampton was 2-2 with a run scored.
Bud Icenhour had two of Johnson County’s five hits. Nick Whitener, Daniel Livorsi and Jayden Joiner shared the other three.
Sams walked five batters but ended the game with 10 strikeouts. Hunter Jones came on to retire the final two outs.
Joiner took the loss for Johnson County allowing five runs, none earned. Whitener struck out three of the four batters he faced in 1 1/3 innings and was on the end of three great defensive plays.
He threw out a pair of Warriors trying to steal and made a great catch and tag on Shane Greer’s throw that nabbed Hampton in the first trying to score.
Happy Valley 000 052 0 — 7 9 4
Johnson Co. 002 000 0 — 4 5 5