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Longhorns' loss against Sullivan Central is hard to swallow

Johnson County’s up and down ride this season continued as the Longhorns took on the Sullivan Central Cougars on their own turf, resulting in a disappointing seventh inning loss. Having played strong and led the game right up to the very last turn at bat, the defeat was hard to swallow, leaving a visibly frustrated Coach Pete Pavusek simply stating, “It was a tough ball game to lose.”
However, considering some of the tough past experiences that the Longhorns have had against Central, there is plenty that Johnson County can be proud of as well. Andy Woods took to the mound for nearly the entire game and did a phenomenal job of keeping the Cougars off of the scoreboard early, making 66 strikes out of a total of 96 pitches. In fact, Central wasn’t able to score a single run until the third inning, and didn’t cross home plate again until their big sweep in the seventh.
On the other hand, Johnson County’s offense was able to get eight base earning hits, and runs by Ryan Mahala, Chad Hodgkiss, and Daniel Helm, along with two from Jacob Henson. In the first inning alone, both Henson and Hodgkiss were able to take first from their hits, although neither resulted in a run.
The Longhorns defense worked hard as well, delivering out after out through catches in the outfield as well as on short drives at all three bases. All the way up to the last inning it seemed that Johnson County was well in control and would be walking away with one of their biggest wins yet. Unfortunately, a few mistakes early on as the Cougars took to bat for the last time began to shake the Longhorn’s resolve, and as Central began to land consecutive hits, fans could only watch helplessly as the win slipped quickly through Johnson County’s fingers.