By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Johnson County needed a solo “homer” to tie the game in the seventh, but the Blue Devils had the right kind of “Simpson” that left them bluer than Marge’s hair. Clay Simpson fanned all three batters he faced in the seventh helping Unicoi County earn a 7-6 victory in Mountain City on Wednesday.
The Longhorns trailed 7-1 going into the bottom of the sixth but struck for five runs to get within one, which came after the Blue Devils had tallied three runs in the top half after picking up four runs during their first at-bat.
Shane Greer had an RBI single in the inning, and Reece Stout contributed a run-scoring double. Jayden Joiner, Petie Pavusek, and Jonathan Arnold reached base and scored while Weston Throop delivered a key, two-out base hit that drove in two. Ben Howard came on in relief of Greer who had pitched five strong innings after reliving Joiner with one out in the first inning. Howard pitched out of a jam with two outs in the sixth and tossed a scoreless seventh keep the Horns within striking distance.
That’s when Simpson came on to save the day for Unicoi County. Keaton Casey picked up the win for the Blue Devils going sixth innings.Greer and Stout provided two hits apiece for the Longhorns. Bud Icenhour, Josh Tierney, and Weston Throop banged out one apiece.
Owen Nicholson led the Blue Devils going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Raben Reed had a pair of hits and an RBI. Unicoi County had nine hits in the game compared to Johnson County’s seven. The Blue Devils remain in first place with a 5-1 league mark. Johnson County fell to 1-3 in the Three Rivers Conference.
Unicoi Co. 400 003 0 –7 9 1
Johnson Co. 000 105 0 – 6 7 3
Casey, Simpson (7) and Wilson. Joiner, Greer (1), Howard (6) and Pavusek.