By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
GRAY—The dominance continued for Johnson County’s 9-10-year-old All-Star team in their game against Jonesborough. It took three hours and 15 minutes to come away with an impressive 20-8 win on Monday night at the Daniel Boone Little League Park.
They’ll now play on Thursday night at 6 pm in Bristol at the Fairview Little League Field against an opponent that is yet to be determined.
The Longhorns banged out 26 hits with several players having multi-hit games. The key factor was the pitching of Carson Jennings who tossed the final three innings without giving up a run.
“Our kids are really playing good as a team right now,” said manager Charlie Jennings. “I thought we made some good plays defensively and we hit the ball all up and down our batting order. I can’t say enough about these kids and the good job that they have done. It’s huge when you don’t have to take a loss into the District. We won two big games over here, and I couldn’t be any more proud of them.”
Johnson County jumped on top early by scoring two times in the first inning. Kaden Blevins delivered a two-run single scoring Chris Canter and Carson Jennings who had hit safely, but Jonesborough tied the game in the bottom half.
The future Longhorns pushed three runs across in the third to go up 5-2. Isaac Lewis and Jennings got it started with singles. Blevins and Juan Mejia had back-to-back RBI base hits. Ethan Smith drove in the final run with a groundout after Braxton Bragg had singled, but the lead would be short-lived.
Jonesborough responded by sending 10 batters to the plate in the bottom half that produced six runs on four base hits and four errors. It was all Johnson County from that point.
They trailed 8-5 but erased that deficit in a hurry. Johnson County sent 15 batters to the plate in the fourth and scored 10 times in the frame.
Mejia had a bases-loaded triple that put them back in front while Hunter Paisley stroked a two-run single to aid the cause. They also got RBI base hits from Ethan Smith, Eli Tester, Grayson Espinoza, Lewis and Canter that surged them in front to stay at 17-8.
Proving that “father knows best,” manager Jennings brought in his son Carson to pitch the final three innings of the game, and he didn’t disappoint. He struck out five batters and never allowed a run but also got a diving catch from Mejia in centerfield that ended the fourth inning with runners on second and third.
Jennings fanned two batters in the sixth including the final one with two runners on to end the game.
“It’s been different kids stepping up and making plays,” said Jennings about his squad. “Juan made a great catch in center, and Landon Greene made one out there in the right. We played some very good baseball.”
Johnson County’s hit parade list was pretty impressive.
Lewis and Canter led the way with four hits apiece, and each scored four times. Blevins and Mejia added three hits and three RBI’s apiece. Ethan Smith and Tester also contributed three hits and an RBI each. Jennings delivered two base hits in addition to his outstanding pitching performance. Paisley came off the bench to go 2-for-3 with three RBI’s. Bragg and Espinoza each went 1-for-2.
Aiden Cannon went 4-for-4 to lead Jonesborough while Eli Rice added a 3-for-4 performance.
Little League Zone 1 Tourney
Johnson County 20,
Johnson Co. 203 (12) 03 – 20
Jonesborough 206 000 — 8