By Tim Chambers
ELIZABETHTON—Johnson County’s Nick Whitener will be playing his college baseball just a mile from Happy Valley High School next season at Milligan College. The Warriors will be glad when he moves on down the road.
The recent Buffalo signee crushed a three-run homer in the third inning that sparked the Longhorns to a 10-4 victory on Monday at Cannon-Gouge Park. It was a big win for the Horns who have now defeated the Warriors twice this season. Both teams are 3-9 in the conference.
Head Coach Pete Pavusek earned his 310th career victory and this one was sweet. Whitener feels like his squad is gelling at the right time.
“We didn’t get the start we wanted to at the beginning of the season, but we’re starting to realize our potential,” said Whitener. “We’re getting more comfortable in the box and gaining more experience and that’s helping us stay in ball games. We had a few bumps in the road, a few setbacks but we’ve got a team that we can really roll with now.”
And roll they did over the Valley.
Whitener wasn’t the only one doing major damage. Shortstop Bud Icenhour did his fair share by blasting a pair of doubles that led to three more RBI’s. His two-bagger in the sixth inning gave the Horns a six-run cushion and Pavusek something to smile about.
“It’s all about these kids,” said Pavusek about his team’s play. “We’re playing pretty good and hitting it well. Our pitching has been outstanding recently and now that we’re hitting it makes it even better. When everyone is contributing it makes it so much easier. Today was a good win for us.”
The hitting was aided by some good pitching from Johnson County’s Shane Greer and Whitener. Greer pitched 4 2/3 innings allowing four runs before giving way to Whitener.
Whitener came on to record an out in the fifth and struck out the side in the sixth. He held the Warriors scoreless and retired all seven batters that he faced.
Happy Valley jumped on top 2-0 on a mammoth two-run homer by Dustin Sams off the softball scoreboard. But it was all Longhorns after that.
Icenhour, Greer and Jayden Joiner had two hits each for the Longhorns. Whitener went 1-2 with two walks and three RBI’s. Daniel Livorsi, McClain Carleton, Josh Tierney and Johnny Arnold added one hit apiece to Johnson County’s 11 total.
“We want to carry this type of play over into the tournament,” added Whitener. “We want to be peaking at the right time.”
Sullivan South 9
Johnson County 6
The Longhorns scored a six-pack of runs against South at home on Friday after having a perfect game tossed against them over there in the previous week. But they couldn’t keep the Rebels from lighting up the scoreboard.
South scored three times in the second and fourth innings, then held on for a 9-6 win.
The Longhorns got their first run in the fourth, scored two in the fifth and added three more in the seventh but couldn’t overcome South’s twp big innings.
Nick Whitener led the hitting, going 3-4. Petie Pavusek was 1-3 with two RBI’s. McClain Carleton and Shane Greer drove in a run apiece and were 1-3. Daniel Livoris, Jayden Joiner and Johnny Arnold provided one apiece.
Seth Worley had three hits for the Rebels. Alec Walker and Trey Fields collected two apiece.