By Tim Chambers
KINGSPORT—A critical error opened the flood gates for Sullivan East and then “along came Jones.” A two-out error and the bat of John Jones helped the Pats knock off Johnson County 10-0 in the District 1-AA baseball tournament at J. Fred Johnson Stadium on Sunday.
It was a heartbreaking day for Longhorns’ starting pitcher, Shane Greer, who allowed seven runs, but none were earned.
The Pats got on the board in the first inning with some small ball play. Aaron Frye reached on an error and moved to second on a single by Elias Arnold. A sac bunt and sacrifice fly from Matt Hopson gave East a 1-0 advantage. The next Longhorn mistake would prove costly.
East loaded the bases with two outs in the third inning with Greer trying to escape the jam. He got the ground ball needed to get out of the inning, but it went through the legs of a Longhorn infielder allowing two base runners to score.
The Patriots would tally five more before the final out could be recorded. Johnson County trailed at that point 8-0.
Jones was a thorn in the Longhorns’ side from the get-go. He roped a bases-loaded double in the third inning and a two-run single to end the game in the fifth.
Jones ended the day going 3-3 with five RBIs.
Johnson County had only three base hits and two were of the infield variety. Nick Whitener lined a sharp single in the fourth. Jayden Joiner and Daniel Livorsi were able to beat out a pair of infield singles.
Alex McCracken helped the Patriots’ cause by going 2-2.
Johnny Arnold and Alex Calderon pitched well in relief for Johnson County.
Johnson Co. 000 00 — 0 3 2
Sullivan East 107 02 — 10 9 1