By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
It’s a tough task for head coach Pete Pavusek to build a competitive high school baseball team at Johnson County because so many of his players choose not to play during the summer. Participating takes up time, and usually, lots of travel is involved for kids up here to improve their skills.
That’s not stopping Jayden Joiner who is making the most of his summer. He has a desire to play college baseball, so he’s giving all his time to the sport he excels in.
Joiner is a key member of the RBI’s Tri-Cities Royals 16 and under baseball team. The team is made up of Northeast Tennessee’s elite players including some from the state championship Greeneville High School team.
Joiner’s team participated in their first tournament this past weekend, and his and the team’s performance were outstanding.
They won the Perfect Game – Net Elite Baseball Appy Showcase Wood Bat tournament that contained eight teams. Joiner’s squad competed against two teams from Knoxville, two from Kentucky and one from Nashville in addition to a couple of others.
The Royals went 5-1 en route to winning the championship game against the Clarksville, Kentucky Orioles.
Joiner proved he could hang with the big dog bat the plate and especially on the mound.
He batted .333 with an on-base percentage of .474 and was on base nine of the 19 plate appearances he had.
He pitched a complete seven-inning game against the Tennessee Prospects 16-under team out of Knoxville earning a 3-1 victory. He gave up only one earned run, two hits and struck out seven and walked three. He displayed pinpoint control by throwing just 75 pitches.
He later tossed a complete game in the semi-finals against Nashville’s Showtime Baseball 16-and under team defeating them 4-1.
Joiner allowed only one earned run and one hit with five strikeouts. He threw 102 pitches en route to the victory.
The rising junior will definitely be getting some college looks because of playing against some of the state’s top talent.
TSSAA Dead Period just around the corner
High school coaches are trying to get in some last minute instruction time with players before the mandatory “Dead Period” time begins.
This year Dead Period beings on June 23 and runs through July 8. During this two-week period all workouts, practices, and facilities will be shut down to high school athletes. Weight training and conditioning sessions are also prohibited on school grounds. Coaches are to have no contact with the student-athlete.
Football, volleyball, and golf can continue their summer workouts and conditioning programs beginning on July 9.
Tim Chambers is the sports editor for the Tomahawk. He can be reached by email at [email protected]