By Matt Hill
The Johnson County 9 and 10 All-Star Boys gave a valiant effort in the zone tournament held at Cunningham Park this past weekend and nearly made the District Tournament.
The Longhorns defeated Unicoi County 2 13-2 Tuesday, then lost to JC Major 16-7 and Carter County American 13-3 in games that were both more competitive than the score would indicate.
The highlight of the week was the game against Unicoi in which everything was clicking from the start for the Longhorns.
Bud Icenhour and Isaish Penley pitched almost perfect and the Longhorns were able to get some huge hits.
Johnson County jumped out to a 5-0 lead early and when Sean Lewis and Nick Whitener hit back to back triples in the fourth inning, the Longhorns held a commanding 10-2 advantage.
Its not everyday that a team from Johnson County defeats Unicoi County in baseball, making it a sweet win for this group of future Longhorns.
We played almost a perfect game, JC manager Brad Reece said. They only put five balls in play and we no-hit them. We felt good and were riding high after that first game.
Against JC Major, the Longhorns received another solid pitching performance, this time from Sean Lewis, but errors in the field proved to be the dagger for the Longhorns.
Johnson City exploded in the fourth inning and put the contest out of reach.
It was still a great effort for the Longhorns considering JC Major is probably one of the best teams in the whole District.
The JC Major game actually went the way I wanted it except for one inning, Reece said. We gave up 10 runs in one inning. We got to throwing the ball around a little bit and thats what I told them, we have to make the plays were supposed to make. Take away that one inning and we win that game and we wouldnt have had to play on Saturday.
In Saturdays game against Carter County American, the Longhorns just ran into a team that was swinging a very hot bat.
Carter County ended up winning in five and as a result ended the Longhorns run.
Today a couple of players were missing and I think our team was down because of that. They came out a little flat, but Bud Icenhour pitched great while he was in there, then Daniel Livorsi came in and picked up the slack pretty good and Nick Whitener finished off. We threw strikes pretty good, but they just hit the ball and a lot of times they hit where we werent at, Reece said.
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