By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
The Longhorns’ American Legion Post 61 baseball team won a pair of games on Saturday to reach the championship game on Monday. The team saved its best performance for last in the title game against Hampton’s Post 49 squad.
Upcoming freshman Asa Lewis pitched a whale of a game in their 11-4 victory at Johnson County High School. He was aided by some timely hits and good defensive play that allowed them to walk away as champions.
Assistant coach Chris Dunbar was happy with the way the Horns played over the seven-inning contest. He felt like one major factor in the game was jumping on them early.
“We came out aggressive and hit the ball good in the first inning,” said Dunbar. “Asa pitched a great game and had the defense behind him. It says a lot about the way these kids like to compete. I thought we played a complete game with very few mistakes.”
Coach “D” hit the nail on the head about his team’s play. They jumped on top 3-0 in the first inning after holding the Bulldogs scoreless in the top half.
Ben Howard got things started with an RBI single scoring Petie Pavusek who had walked. Seth Conder followed with a two-run base hit plating Ethan Icenhour and Howard that swung the momentum in their favor.
Johnson County put another three runs on the board in the second inning after Lewis had retired Hampton in order.
Dalton Adams and Lewis got it going with back-to-back singles. Howard drove in his second run of the game with another one-bagger.
Stacy Greer closed the frame with a two-run double in the gap that allowed them to stretch their lead at 6-0.
Hampton had only two base runners over the first three innings and one was thrown out trying to steal.
Petie threw out Hampton’s first base runner trying to steal then made a nice catch on a pop foul to end one inning. Peyton Pavusek drove in Ethan Icenhour in the third to stretch their advantage at 7-0.
Hampton finally dented the scoreboard in the fourth with two runs.
Morgan Lyons had an RBI single which was sandwiched in between five walks. Lewis regained his form and retired two consecutive batters with the bases loaded to escape the mess with a 7-2 advantage.
Hampton got within striking distance thanks to a two-run triple by Dalton Rouse in the fifth that cut the deficit at 7-4 but they never scored again.
Johnson County put the game away by adding four more runs in the fifth.
Conder and Dakota Holt all walked and scored as did Peyton Pavusek who singled. Lewis provided an RBI single while Petie Pavusek collected one after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Lewis pitched into the sixth before being relieved by Petie Pavusek who retired all four batters he faced. Lewis scattered six hits and struck out five. He also had a pair of hits and drove in a run.
Howard had a big night for the Horns going 2-for-3 with two RBI’s and two runs scored. Greer, Conder, Peyton Pavusek, and Adams provided one hit each.
Michael Harrison and Kaleb Royston went 2-for-3 each to lead the Bulldogs.
Assistant coach Kevin Icenhour felt like each game the team improved.
“These kids are starting to develop some chemistry and they enjoy playing ball with each other,” added Icenhour. “They saw themselves improve throughout the summer and that’s why we’re doing this.”
Dunbar added. “It’s awesome to see this kids come out here and want to improve on their skills. It’s good for our program because they all want to become better ball players.”
Longhorns win a pair on Saturday
Johnson County didn’t allow a run in the two games they played on Saturday winning 17-0 and 2-0.
The Horns pulled off a remarkable feat in both games with hitting and pitching.
Asa Lewis, Petie Pavusek, Ben Howard and Stacy Greer all hit home runs over the fence in the first contest. Peyton Pavusek added two hits. Seth Condor had a run scoring double
while Graham Reece and Dakota Holt each hit safely and scored.
The Horns won the second contest 2-0 that wasn’t decided until the final out.
The game was tied 0-0 in the sixth inning until Johnson County broke the deadlock. Ben Howard and Stacy Greer hit back-to-back doubles and each scored giving their team a 2-0 advantage.
That was all the support Howard needed who pitched brilliantly. He tossed a complete game two-hitter and amassed 16 strikeouts in his dominating performance.
Petie Pavusek went 1-3 and team up with Howard to provide Johnson County a “battery” that wouldn’t “die hard.”
Johnson County 11,
Hampton Post 49
000 220 0 — 4 6 3
Johnson Co. Post 61
331 004 0 —11 8 1
Rouse, Lyons (3), Burleson (6) and Street. Lewis, Pet Pavusek (6) and Pet. Pavusek, Conder (6).