By Tim Chambers
The middle school Longhorns split a pair of conference games over the weekend including another close loss to Hampton. They fell to the Bulldogs 6-4 on Saturday after blasting Unaka 22-2 on Friday.
The Longhorns exploded for 10 runs in the first inning and never looked back while earning their lopsided victory. They banged out eight hits in the first frame sending 14 batters to the plate.
Mason Bragg and Asa Lewis had a pair of base hits in the inning. Seth Condor had three RBI’s in the frame. Isaac Roark, Ethan Icenhour and Zack Parsons all added RBI base hits.
Johnson County used a quartet of singles from Parsons, Preston Greer, Bragg and Lewis to plate a couple more runs in the second frame.
The Horns kept ripping the cover off the ball using the final two innings to score 10 runs.
Stacy Greer started the third inning off with a base hit. Roark, Icenhour and Preston Greer would cash in on the hit parade with a trio of one-baggers.
Dalton Brown and Trey Snyder led a fifth inning charge that netted another six runs by swatting key base hits. Unaka scored their lone two runs in the third.
Bragg led the Longhorns, going 4-4 while Lewis was 3-3. Roark, Icenhour, Parson and Preston Greer added two hits each. Stacy Greer was 1-2 with three walks.
“We hit the ball great the entire game,” said head coach Julian Crews about his Longhorns. “We were very aggressive at the plate. That’s what you like to see as a coach.”
Icenhour, Condor, Parsons and Lewis pitched one inning each for the Longhorns. Icenhour was credited with the victory.
Johnson County’s attempt to defeat Hampton was like trying to ride a mini-bike over into Shady Valley. They sputtered at times, got close, but in the end didn’t have the horsepower needed to finish their mission.
The Bulldogs scored three unearned runs in the sixth that enabled them to prevail 6-4 over the Longhorns.
It was the second time they had defeated them this season.
The Horns scored the game’s first run in the second inning when Josh Austin singled in Isaac Roark who had doubled. Hampton wasted no time erasing the deficit in the bottom half.
Kyle Lewis had an RBI single and McKinley drove in another with a fielder’s choice to put Hampton up 2-1.
The Dogs upped the ante to 3-1 in the fourth by collecting an unearned run, but the Horns would answer. Isaac Roark’s base hit scored Asa Lewis who had singled to close the deficit at 3-2.
The Dogs took advantage of a missed fly ball and two walks to score three more in the sixth inning.
Johnson County tried to rally in the seventh by scoring two more runs but came up a couple short.
Stacy Greer doubled in Bragg who had singled. Roark plated the final run with an RBI base hit.
Lewis and Roark supplied a huge portion of Johnson County’s offense by going 3-4 apiece. Stacy Greer reached base three times and was 1-2.
Ethan Icenhour pitched three strong innings for the Longhorns before giving way to Zack Parsons in the fourth. Parsons gave up three runs, all unearned.
The Horns outhit Hampton 11 to 4.
Connor Burleson went the distance to pick up the win for Hampton.
“We hit the ball well but defensively we had four errors,” said JCMS’ head coach Julian Crews. “That pretty much was the difference in the game.”