By Tim Chambers
KINGSPORT—It wasn’t the type of ending to a good season that Johnson County expected. They led 5-3 going into the last inning against Sullivan North and appeared headed for a win. Instead, the Golden Raiders rallied for five runs in their final at-bat and held on for an 8-5 victory at J. Fred Johnson Stadium.
The loss eliminated Johnson County from the District 1-AA tournament after falling to Happy Valley 5-2 on Friday. It was one disaster after another for the Longhorns.
“Samuel Icenhour broke his finger in the first inning on Friday against the Warriors. North broke the Horns’ hearts with their mammoth seventh inning.
They banged out six hits in the frame after failing to score in the fourth and fifth innings.
Johnson County scored a pair of runs in the first and second innings and one during the third. But they failed to score over the final four innings, allowing North to advance against Elizabethton.
The Golden Raiders had lost to Unicoi County on a walk-off two-run single on Friday. Saturday would be a complete 180 turnaround.
“The baseball gods have been against us all year,” said Sullivan North head coach Steve Dixon. “Today they were smiling on us.”
North got RBI base hits from Devon Price, Peyton Robinson and Connor Copas in the seventh. Lane Potter (1-for-1) walked for the third time in the game and scored.
The Longhorns overcame a 1-0 deficit in the first inning to go up 2-1.
Daniel Livorsi led off with a single and moved to third on a base hit by Nick Whitener. Logan Sargent’s RBI single allowed Livorsi to score and Whitener later crossed the plate.
They extended their advantage at 4-1 in the following frame.
Jayden Joiner’s triple scored Bud Icenhour who had singled. Joiner would score on a wild pitch before North could escape the inning.
The Longhorns kept adding to their lead which appeared to be safe.
Sargent’s second hit in the game led to another run in the third, but the Horns were shut out from there.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.