By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
JOHNSON CITY—Johnson County was three outs away from advancing in the District 1-AA baseball tournament, but like a dropped cookie, it crumbled at the end. Happy Valley rallied from a 5-2 deficit in their final at-bat to take a 6-5 win at Cardinal Park on Thursday.
Two critical errors led the Johnson County’s downfall in the final frame.
Will Hampton reached on an error after Luke Naylor led off the inning getting hit by a pitch. Kevin Whitaker singled as did Nolan Easlic.
From there the wheels would come off the Longhorns’ wagon.
Another miscue in the field allowed two runs to score while a missed tag at home plate enabled Happy Valley to tie the score at 5-5.
Eli Fleenor’s walk-off single to the left scored Dylan McKeehan for the game-winner. Happy Valley celebrated while the Longhorns looked on in disbelief.
Johnson County got on the board in the fourth inning after falling behind 2-0.
Josh Tierney doubled and scored to make it 2-1, but the Longhorns left the bases loaded to end the inning.
They added four more in the fifth to finally take their first lead at 5-2.
Bud Icenhour and Shane Greer got things started with a pair of base hits while Tierney belted his second two-bagger of the game. Reece Stout added another double and Petie Pavusek walked for the third time in the game to put the Horns up 5-2.
Disaster would strike them at that point.
Stout had two hits, and two RBI’s to lead the Horns. Tierney had a pair with an RBI and scored twice.
The senior trio of Icenhour, Greer and Johnny Arnold collected one hit apiece. Jayden Joiner was 1-for-3 in addition to pitching six-plus innings.
The Longhorns outhit Happy Valley 8-6
Easlic picked up the in on the mound for Happy Valley. He came on in relief allowing one run and two hits over two-plus innings.
Joiner went six and a third innings for the Horns giving up five runs, but only three earned. He surrendered five hits and struck out five.
The Warriors played error-free baseball over the seven-inning span while Johnson County committed the critical two.
District 1-AA Baseball
Happy Valley 6,
Johnson County 5
JCHS 000 130 1 – 5 8 2
Happy V. 101 000 4 – 6 6 0
Joiner, Howard (7) and Pavusek. Whitaker, Easlic (5) and Conley