By Tim Chambers
It was “Hang on Sloopy” over the final six innings for Johnson County and they did so in convincing fashion. The Longhorns scored twice in the first and made it stand in a 2-1 home win over Happy Valley on Monday.
It was a huge victory for head coach Pete Pavusek and his Longhorns. They got on the board early and it could have been more had it not been for a great defensive play.
Jaiden Joiner and Bud Icenhour started the inning with back-to-back singles but a rocket off the bat of Nick Whitener was snagged by Taylor Hurley and turned into a double play.
The Longhorns didn’t let the inning die but instead picked up a couple of clutch base hits.
Shane Greer singled in Joiner for a 1-0 lead. Daniel Livorsi followed with a RBI double that brought home Greer for a 2-0 advantage.
From there it became a pitcher’s duel between Joiner and Hurley.
Joiner pitched five innings of shutout baseball for Johnson County before running into trouble in the sixth. That’s when the Warriors scored their lone run.
Hampton singled and scored on a base hit by Sage Haun but the Warriors ran themselves out of the inning.
Haun later tried to score on Tyler Hurley’s base hit but an outstanding scoop and tag by catcher Gavin Reece prevented that from happening.
Joiner came up throwing on Hurley’s base hit to left and Reece snagged the one-hopper then applied the tag for the final out.
Happy Valley went quietly in the seventh.
Joiner allowed five hits and struck out five while recording the win. Josh Tierney earned the save by pitching the final two innings, giving up just one hit and fanning one. Neither pitcher for the Longhorns issued a walk.
Livorsi had a pair of hits and the game winning RBI to lead the Longhorns. Joiner was 1-2 while Greer and Icenhour had the other two hits.
Haun banged out two hits to lead the Warriors. Hampton, Bailey Conley and Taylor Hurley collected one apiece.
“Our kids stepped up and made the plays when we had to,” said head coach Pete Pavusek. “We made some good defensive plays including the one by Gavin at home. Jaiden made a good throw from left field and Gavin’s tag at home saved the game. Joiner and Tierney pitched well. Livorsi had a key hit and so did Shane. We had a lot of kids that contributed in this win.”
Johnson County 2
Happy Valley 0
Bradley Livorsi fired a one-hitter while leading Johnson County to the win. Gavin Reece had the only base hit for the Longhorns. He and Jose Marcos scored the game’s only two runs.
Happy Valley 000 001 0 — 1 5 1
Johnson County 200 000 x — 2 5 3
Hurley and Conley. Joiner, Tierney (6) and Gav. Reece.