Facing one of the best pitchers in the conference it was no shock when the Longhorns found themselves in offensive trouble on the road against East last Monday. Bringing in only four hits and no runs against the Patriots B.J. Murray, there was very little Johnson County could do to offset Easts success. Murray had 12 strikeouts in all, cleaning up the first inning singlehandedly and making it very difficult the rest of the game. In fact, Johnson County never actually made it farther than second base the whole game, and most of those on walks.
The one notable hit of the game came from Blade Hampton who pulled a double in left field in the top of the sixth. Hampton had already reached second earlier in the game when he advanced on a hit from Logan Sargent but both of those drives were frustrated by catches in the outfield and a numerous strikes.
Defensively Johnson County kept East from scoring at all in the first, third, or sixth, and held them to only one run in the fifth, but by that point East had already batted through seven runners with 12 hits total on the night. Logan Sargent and Jake Sutherland traded off pitching duties for Johnson County with Sargent gaining three strikeouts and Sutherland two, but it simply wasnt enough to make up for huge sweeps in the second and fourth innings. Adding a couple critical errors on the part of Johnson Countys infield and the Patriots found themselves with a relatively easy win.
On the bright side, the Longhorns are in good company considering how many conference giants Murray has recently been able to bring down to size. Murray is tough, said Pavusek. Their pitcher shut us down. BJ Murray is tough. He doesnt allow a run on anybody. He shut out Unicoi, shut out Elizabethton, and shut out us. When you have a good pitcher out there it makes a big difference. That was the deciding factor. Logan and Jake Sutherland were on the mound for us and weve just got to mix and match, patch things together, and get somebody that can be competitive and give us a chance out there. Thats all we want. Keep us in the ball game and give us a chance to win. Thats all were looking for.