By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
It wasn’t “happy hour” for Happy Valley on Tuesday in Mountain City after their encounter with Johnson County. The Longhorns got their 2016 baseball season off to a good start with a 6-3 win over the Warriors.
Johnson County’s Nick Whitener was part of the reason that the game lasted only 85 minutes. He allowed four hits, no walks and struck out seven and threw only 89 pitches.
Some great defensive plays including a diving catch by Shane Greer allowed him escape one jam.
Freshman Jayden Joiner made a nice play at shortstop to bail him out of another.
“We got some great pitching from Nick and I’m really proud of our defense because we made some good plays in the field,” said Pavusek. “I was sort of worried about our hitting but we hit enough to score a few runs. It was good to start the season off with a quality win.”
Whitener helped the Horns start it off with a bang by fanning two of the three Warriors he faced in the opening frame. He also scored their first run in the bottom half.
Peyton Fenner’s clutch RBI double plated Whitener who had delivered a two-out single giving Johnson County a 1-0 advantage.
Their lead grew to 3-0 in the following frame.
Logan Sargent got things started by smacking a double and would later score. Samuel Icenhour had a solid RBI single in the inning that brought home Daniel Livorsi.
The Warriors used an error and Bailey Conley’s RBI single to get on the board in the third. But the Horns would answer with another pair of runs.
Greer roped a two-bagger scoring Fenner who had reached on an error. Sargent had an RBI single that increased Johnson County’s lead at 5-1.
The Longhorns scored their sixth and final run in the fourth inning.
Fenner’s RBI double brought home Samuel Icenhour who reached after getting plunked. The defense would take over from there.
Happy Valley scored twice in the sixth but the inning ended with a Warrior getting thrown out at third on a nice relay throw by Joiner.
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