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Johnson County squeeze past Hampton

The Longhorns make a quick swap of catchers before an
inning in their win against Hampton. Photo by Isaac Stewart

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

The JCHS Longhorns were prepared to fight hard against rival Hampton Bulldogs on Thursday. Coach Nicholas Perkins and the Longhorns baseball program go way back. Perkins played for and later coached under Pavusek in 2008 and later from
2010-2014.
They accomplished many things as a team under their leadership. In 2012, the Longhorns were one win away from the state tournament but placed second in the district and region that year. The former coaches competed against each other from 2018-2021. Needless to say, there is cause for a good competitive rivalry against both teams.
Thursday night’s game was no different, as both teams fought hard.
Johnson County persevered with the Longhorns getting off to a good start. Ethan Icenhour’s hit brought home Graham Reece.
Johnson County put two more runs on the board in the bottom of the third. Asa Lewis and Reece advanced to first base with Reece walking and Lewis being hit by the ball.
Grayson Holt sent a pop-up to second base bringing Lewis in, but Hampton fired back at the top of the fourth inning for its first run for the night.
The Longhorns pushed through the bottom of the fifth. Reece and Lewis were back on second and on first, respectively.
Peyton Pavusek hit a single to third with two outs, sending Reece home. Zack Parsons was struck by the pitcher, bringing Lewis home. Seth Condor then got to the plate and hit a single to left field, bringing Lewis.
The score was 6-1 at the top of the 7th.
At the end of the game, Coach Perkins and his team presented Crabtree with a case of game balls with one missing. The Hampton team signed the missing ball and gave it to the Longhorns in memory of Coach Pavusek. “We wanted to show respect for Coach P and our concern for his players and fellow coaches.
Crabtree replied, “It was a nice and thoughtful gesture.