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Johnson County Longhorns beat Happy Valley Warriors 11-5

The Longhorns started the week off right, pulling in a big win against the Happy Valley Warriors on the road Monday night. Johnson County played very well overall, making good contact on the ball while holding back the Warriors both at the box and in the field. The Longhorns were off to a good start with three runs in both the first and second innings, but, despite gaining a substantial lead, Coach Pete Pavusek refused to let down his guard. “After the Sullivan Central game earlier in the season, even with six runs I’m scared. I had two guys ready to go on the mound. I’m not taking anything for granted any more. It doesn’t matter if its six runs or 60 runs.”
There were several moments that the Longhorns feared a Happy Valley comeback, most notably in the third inning. At that point Johnson County was still ahead 6-3, but following a quick first out, Happy Valley began loading up the bases. With a runner on first, the Warrior’s Chance Street took first off a hit by the pitcher, only to be advanced to second by hit from Sam Allie. A final hit managed to push the first runner across home plate, but the Longhorns put a stop to a potential second runner as he was making his way from third.
Thankfully Johnson County’s defense was able to prevent any big gains from happening, and the Warriors were forced to pick up what runs they could between outs from catches in the infield and a strong performance from the pitchers. Andy Woods and Harley Reece split time on the mound, with Woods taking the first four innings and Reece the last three. Both struck out two batters each, and were able to keep their earned runs down to only two for the whole game.
The Longhorns were also successful at hitting the ball, picking up significant gains in the first, second, and sixth innings. For shortstop, Judd Hammons, the game was a big overall positive for the team. “Everybody was just crushing. Andy started pitching hard for us. They got two runs in the first inning but I knew if we just kept throwing at them he was going to shut them down. Everybody was hitting the ball well. I have to thank Coach Perkins for helping me with the hitting in off season. I ended up three for four with a couple stolen bases as well. Defensively we had a couple errors, but we backed the pitchers up, and I felt pretty good about how I handled shortstop. We’re finally getting some good confidence out there.”
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.