By Tim Chambers
Every baseball team likes to sprint out of the gate hoping to build an early lead. JCMS did one better and kicked it down in the first inning against Happy Valley. A seven-run opening frame propelled them to a 9-4 win in the Little Watauga Conference tournament played at Cannon-Gouge Park on Monday.
They were scheduled to play Providence Academy on Tuesday at Indian Trail Middle School.
It was the type of start that JCMS’ head coach Julian Crews had been hoping for. He said they talked about it before the first pitch was thrown.
“Coach Bo Henson and I talked to them about being aggressive at the plate and not getting behind in the count,” said Crews. “We knew they would try and throw the first pitch for a strike. We were going to hit good pitches but we wanted to hit them early. They did a great job of sticking to the plan.”
They executed the plan to perfection in their first at-bat.
Bradley Livorsi’s singled in Preston Smith who had reached on a base hit. Stacy Greer smacked a two-run double making it 3-0. Ben Howard kept it going with a solid single that loaded the bases. Will Henson drew a walk to plate one run. Petie Pavusek’s one-bagger made it 5-0. Smith capped off the inning with a two-run single, his second base hit in the inning.
The Warriors got on the board in the third scoring twice without a single base hit, but the Horns answered with a run in the fourth.
Timothy Grindstaff singled, then scored on a base knocker by Tyler Nicholls.
Happy Valley tried to keep pace by scoring one in the fifth only to watch the Longhorns duplicate that.
Casey Blevins ripped a run-scoring double, scoring Jacob Absher who had singled, but Grindstaff drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom half to give Johnson County their ninth run.
The Longhorns totaled 10 hits in the game.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.