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Young players gain experience in win over Cloudland Highlanders

The Longhorns finished up their week on fire against the Cloudland Highlanders. Winning their second game at home, Johnson County dominated on the offense with just about every batter in the lineup putting the ball in play at some point.  Big hits included a double from Adam Worley in the bottom of the second and two more doubles from Blade Hampton and Sam Thomas in the third. In fact Thomas’s hit was so deep into the outfield that it almost became a home run. Coupled with errors by the Highlander defense, the Longhorns took the lead with after their very first at bat.
Sam Thomas, Blade Hampton, Jake Sutherland, and Logan Sargent all got on base, but one of the most impressive performances of the whole game came from freshman leadoff hitter, Daniel Livorsi. “Livorsi was two for four in his first varsity career start,” began head Coach Pete Pavusek. “The first pitch he sees he ropes into left field, played good defense when we needed him to, had a nice tag out on a steal and a nice little running play on a throw. It was just a nice play, a nice play. It was just a good day.”
Livorsi became one of the three runners to reach home in the first, outscoring Cloudland who had put in only one runner through the top of the inning. Ironically that was the only score of the evening for the Highlanders, who were otherwise shutout by pitcher Jake Sutherland. With 10 strikeouts in all and 58 strikes out 85 total pitches, Sutherland had a memorable performance from the mound, but was also readily backed up by his teammates in the field.
Although the win was expected after the Highlanders huge scrimmage defeat on the road earlier in the season, the game was still a great opportunity for many of the young members of the roster to gain some meaningful experience. Freshman like Daniel Livorsi are quickly taking to the game and steadily growing in their roles, while even more experienced players like Payton Fenner, Logan Sargent, and Samuel Icenhour continue to polish up their own games. Yet, more than anything else playing a team like Cloudland and getting such a big win at home is a nice change from some of the more tough conference matchups that are on the way.
“We’ve got some goals and were just checking them off,” said Pavusek.  “It’s a process, step by step, one game at a time. We’re trying to edge back up there to .500, and I told them once we get to .500 then we’ll start our season. We’ve got two down and one more to go and then we’ll start going. We played good defense, we got good hitting, and Jake Sutherland pitched a great game.  It feels good to barrel balls up, to hit them hard somewhere. It’s a good feeling. It’s optimistic, positive. We’re just trying to put all the aspects together, defense, offense, good pitching. Hopefully by the end we’ll be where we want to be and be competitive and maybe even sneak up and scare a few teams.”