By Tim Chambers
Johnson County was hoping to bounce back from losses at the hands of Hampton and Sulphur Springs and they did so in convincing fashion. The Junior High Longhorns leapfrogged past Unaka 13-3 in a five-inning affair on Friday.
The Horns got on the board in the first inning with a four-run outburst. They put the game out of reach by adding six more in the third.
“Cody Norris pitched us a good game and threw strikes,” said Johnson County’s head coach Julian Crews. “We played solid defense behind him and got some key hits as well. It was a good day for us overall.”
Bradley Livorsi drove in the first run of the game with a single after Ben Howard and Norris had reached base on errors. Will Henson followed with a perfectly executed safety squeeze that went for a base hit and RBI. The small ball continued with Adam Manuel’s squeeze bunt producing a run.
Their four run advantage would reach double digits in the third frame.
Livorsi tripled to start the inning and scored on a single from Preston Smith. Petie Pavusek delivered another run scoring base hit after Timothy Grindstaff had singled.
The big blow was a three-run double by Norris that cleared the bases giving them a 10-1 cushion.
Manuel and Taylor Nicholls drove in a run apiece in the fourth inning. Preston Smith had an RBI single in the fifth.
Norris allowed three runs and four hits. He struck out four and walked three while going the distance to earn the victory.
Smith, Pavusek, Livorsi and Manuel had two hits apiece for Johnson County. Howard, Norris and Henson provided one each.
“I’m pleased with our overall effort,” added Crews. “We did the little things you need to do to win. We put down a couple of good bunts that we scored runs on. Those things win baseball games when executed right. We were able to get it done today.”
Sulpher Springs 11
Johnson County 5
It was not a good day on the diamond for Johnson County. Sulpher Springs made the trip back to Washington County a happy one by defeating the Longhorns 11-5.
Petie Pavusek had a big day for the Longhorns going 3-for-3 including two doubles. Cody Norris added a 3-for-4 effort including a triple. Timothy Grindstaff provided a pair of hits. Ben Howard and Bradley Livorsi recorded one apiece.
“They have a very good and well-coached baseball team,” said Longhorns head coach Julian Crews. “We simply got outplayed today. They hit the ball well the entire game.”
Johnson County 0
Johnson County lost its leading hitter, Stacy Greer, to the flu just before the game started. Afterwards they suffered a lop-sided loss to league leading Hampton.
Josh Owens was a one-man wrecking crew for the Junior High Bulldogs. He was also a thorn in the side for the Longhorns.
The “Babe” struck out 11 batters while earning the win on the mound. He also provided three hits and four RBIs.
Morgan Lyons had an inside-the-park homerun for the Dogs. Max Cash added a double.
Petie Pavusek, Preston Smith and Ben Howard had two hits each for Johnson County. Cody Norris had the other one.
“Hampton has an excellent baseball team,” said JCMS head coach Julian Crew. “They don’t have an easy out throughout their lineup. Their eight and nine batters could hit one and two on most teams.”
Eight players logged a base hit apiece for Hampton.
The Longhorns remain in a battle with Providence for second place.