By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Not even a souped-up Mustang could have started faster than Johnson County’s 7-8-year-old All-Star team
did on Sunday before a
capacity crowd at Gary Woodard Field. The future
Longhorns scored five times in their first at-bat and held Jonesborough scoreless which jumpstarted them to a 16-5 victory.
It was quite a showing by the Little Longhorns who set the tone with two great defensive plays in the first inning. Johnson County’s manager Kevin Blevins was happy with his team’s game.
“We set the tone by not allowing them to score in the first inning,” said Blevins. “I think it got them down when we came in and scored five quick runs and went up 5-0. Our kids hit the ball well, and we made several good plays defensively. I thought we came out ready to play and they were excited about getting to play at home in front of all the fans. I’m very proud of them.”
It all started with a nice catch by Grayson Day at second base to lead off the game, and then Jonesborough got robbed a second time on a nice over-the-shoulder catch by Karter Cox that saved a run.
Those plays helped spark JC’s offense which scored the maximum five runs in the bottom half.
Cox followed up his great catch with a one-out single and scored on Day’s double. Hunter McElyea and Camden Johnson followed suit by smacking run-scoring singles. Gage Grissom drove in another UN with a single and Abby Dickens capped it off with an RBI double to put them in front 5-0.
The Longhorns’ defense stood out again in the second inning holding Jonesborough to only one run. They kept putting on the pressure with a three-run outburst in their second
Audrey Shaw, Connor Stout, and Cayden Huskins all singled and scored in the inning. Avery Blevins had a 2-run single down the third base line, and Raylee Matheson contributed another single that scored Huskins.
Johnson County led 9-1 after two.
The Longhorn defense continued its dominance by allowing only five runs over four innings while continuing to pad their lead.
Gage Grissom smacked a two-run triple in the third inning scoring Day and McElyea who had swatted singles. Dickens had an RBI base hit and “Connor Connection” of Connor Stout, and Connor Wallace hit safely and scored giving Johnson County a 13-3 advantage.
Jonesborough was able to extend the game by scoring twice in the fourth inning. Johnson County needed three runs to end it on the mercy rule, and they didn’t disappoint their vocal fans.
Blevins got things started with a solid single. Cox and Day both singled and scored putting Johnson County in Monday’s winner’s bracket finals.
Day had three hits and three excellent defensive plays at second base to lead the Longhorns. Blevins, McElyea, Cox, Grissom, Dickens, Stout and Huskins added two apiece. Matheson, Johnson, Wallace, and Shaw provided one apiece. Scotty Orndorff provided some stellar play as well for the Longhorns.
The Longhorns were to play Johnson City Americans on Monday. A win would move them on to District game later in the week.
Zone 2 Little League
7-8 All-Star Tournament
Johnson County 16,
Jonesborough 012 2 — 5
Johnson County 535 3 —16