Johnson County’s baseball team is out to prove all the naysayers wrong, and so far they’ve done that this year. The Longhorns are currently 4-4 in league play after sweeping Happy Valley in a doubleheader on Tuesday.
The Longhorns won the first game 11-0 then took the second game 6-5 in dramatic fashion.
They followed that up with a 14-1 victory over FCA on Friday.
Head coach Pete Pavusek is happy with his team’s play so far.
“We were picked to finish at the bottom in the preseason, but we can do no worse than fifth,” said Pavusek. “We could possibly finish third or fourth but beating Happy Valley in a doubleheader was big because our kids wanted to win both games so bad. Weston Throop was huge in game two, and Jaiden Joiner pitched an excellent game in the first one. Reese Stout has been hitting the ball really good in his DH spot. Guys like Petie Pavusek, Ben Howard and Bradley Livorsi have hit the ball well and are providing some great leadership, but we are also getting some good play out of sophomore Stacy Greer and our freshmen Ethan Icenhour, Asa Lewis, and Zack Parsons. It’s been a very productive year so far.
Johnson County 11
Happy Valley 0
The Longhorns used an outstanding pitching performance by Jayden Joiner to capture the first game convincingly. The Milligan College signee tossed a two-hitter, striking out nine Warrior batters without issuing a walk.
The Horns gave him plenty of run support that began in the first inning.
Joiner led off with a single then later scored on Reese Stout’s base hit.
The Longhorns added another run in the second getting an RBI base hit by freshman Ethan Icenhour scoring Weston Throop who had singled.
Throop and Icenhour duplicated that same feat again in the fourth inning with a back-to-back base to go up 3-0. They extended their lead to 6-0 in the fifth with a three-run outburst.
Petie Pavusek, Stacy Greer, Throop, and Bradley Livorsi all had singles that led to their trio of runs. They put it out of reach by scoring five times in the seventh.
Pavusek, Ben Howard, Joiner, and Livorsi all drove home runs which allowed the Horns to escape with the win. The Longhorns served as the visiting team in this game due to Happy Valley not having a home field to play its games on due to the recent flooding.
Throop and Stout banged out three hits apiece to pace the Longhorns. Greer and Icenhour provided added two apiece. Pavusek, Joiner and Asa Lewis all had one.
Johnson County 6
Happy Valley 5
The fountain of youth was flowing nicely in this contest. Freshman Asa Lewis singled home Weston Throop with the game-winner after he had led off the seventh inning with a base hit.
The Longhorns fell behind 3-0 in the early going but rallied back with a two-run to third to get within one. Four walks, an error, and Petie Pavusek’s 2-run single helped the Horns to remain in the hunt.
The lead swapped hand twice until the seventh inning when Lewis’ ripped a two-out base hit on a 3-2 pitch. He also pitched the seventh inning to earn the win.
Ben Howard pitched four strong innings for the Horns by limiting the Warriors to just five hits and three runs with five strikeouts. Bradley Livorsi came on in relief to toss two strong innings.
Pavusek went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s to lead the Longhorns at the plate. Asa Lewis was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Ethan Icenhour went 1-for-3 with two RBI’s. Joiner and Throop also had a base hit each.
Wilson led the Longhorns going 3-for-4.
Johnson County 14
The Longhorns scored seven times in the first inning to win rather easily over FCA on Friday in what should be known as Pete Pavusek Field.
Pavusek has recorded over 330 victories in his 23 years plus as the Longhorns’ head skipper.
The Longhorns got a dominant pitching effort by freshman Zack Parsons in relief
of Bradley Livorsi who
tossed the first two innings to earn the win. Parsons struck out three and never allowed a base runner during his
Eric Neely threw the final inning.
Parsons helped his cause by going 1-for-1 with an
RBI double. Livorsi added two hits and three RBI’s
while Pavusek drove in two runs with a pair of base hits. Ben Howard and Ethan
Icenhour were 2-for-3 each with two runs scored. Stacy Greer was 1-for-2 with an RBI and run scored. Reese Stout was 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Weston Throop was 1-for-3 with an RBI and run scored.
Asa Lewis had the most important day for the Horns going 4-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored.
The Longhorns blasted out 17 hits on the day.
The Longhorns have a big week ahead as they took on Sullivan South on Monday and Tuesday before traveling to Tennessee High on Thursday. They’ll be at home for a doubleheader with Unaka on Friday which will be senior night.