Warriors garner two wins and two losses at Cure 4 Cancer tourney
By Eli Rushing | March 18, 2019 10:25 am
Over the weekend, the Warrior baseball team traveled to Pigeon Forge to compete in the Cure 4 Cancer Tournament. They played four games in a two-day stretch and headed home with wins over Halls and South-Doyle, while having lost to Alcoa and Gibbs.
The Warriors kicked off the weekend, on Friday afternoon, as they took on Alcoa and fell by the score of 7-4. Despite a hot start at the plate, the boys were unable to secure a victory. David Smith got the Warriors on the board with a two-run blast in the top of the first, but Alcoa struck back quickly, scoring on a sacrifice fly in the second. They tied things up in the third due to a pair of stolen bases and a sac fly as the early Warrior lead had been wiped clear.
White County retaliated in the fourth as Alcoa’s infield struggled to contain a hard ground ball, and they were able to get a runner home off of the error. Although they did score one, the Warriors stranded Macon Girdley at third and Hayden Farris at second in what could have been important runs later in the contest. An Alcoa single in the same inning brought the score to 3-3, and, from there, the Tornadoes piled it on the Warriors. They scored once on a fielder’s choice and twice on a single as they took a sizable 6-3 lead heading into the fifth inning.
The boys responded in the fifth thanks to a Drew Young base hit but still trailed 6-4 and fell even further behind as Alcoa homered off of Holden Howard, retaking a three-point advantage in the bottom of the fifth. From there, White County failed to muster any more offense and lost the contest by the final score of 7-4.
The Warriors collected eight hits on the game, including two each from Eli McDonald, Drew Young, and Dyson Reece.
Grant Slatten got the start on the mound for the Warriors and threw two-and-a-third innings while striking out two and walking two. He also gave up one hit and two runs. Michael Shank pitched one-and-one-third innings and struck out one, allowing three hits and four runs. Howard closed out the game for his team as he pitched two-and-one- third innings and struck out three. He also allowed a lone hit, which was a home run.
In their second game of the day, the Warriors fared considerably better. Their luck reversed as they cruised to a 10-4 win over Halls. They earned 14 hits over the course of the game and rode several hot bats to the victory.
With the bases loaded in the first, McDonald singled into right field on the first pitch of his at bat, scoring two. An error by Halls put the Warriors ahead 3-0, and, although the boys allowed a run in the third, they shot back and scored with the help of a Slatten single and a McDonald sacrifice fly in the third. They led 5-1 until Halls picked up two more runs and brought the game to its closest margin of 5-3 in the following inning.
From there, White County’s offense exploded for four runs. This bottom of the fourth barrage featured RBIs from Jacob Sparks, Girdley, Slatten, and Tucker Allen. Sparks, Slatten, and Allen all brought runners home off singles, while Girdley scored one off a double into center field. The Warriors allowed one more run in the fifth but ended the contest with a 10-4 win.
Farris led things off on mound, pitching four-and-two-thirds innings and striking out four, while allowing six hits and four runs. D.J. Paul closed out the game for WCHS as he pitched two and one third innings and allowed only two hits.
Sparks and McDonald showed out with three hits apiece, while Slatten and Chris Mills each chipped in a pair of hits in the blowout.
The Warriors struggled to start the day, on Saturday morning, in what was their third game of the tournament. They faced Gibbs and were soundly defeated 6-1 as they totaled only five hits and gave up four extra base hits on defense. Neither team scored until Gibbs was the first to land a blow. They scored two in the top of the fourth and took a lead that they would never release. Two more runs in the fifth didn’t do the Warriors any favors as they failed to contain line drives into left field and now trailed 4-0.
Farris scored the lone run for the boys in the fifth as he singled into centerfield, but this small sample of offense was not enough to make a difference. White County allowed one more pair of runs in the sixth and watched the game slip through their fingers as they lost 6-1.
Allen pitched five innings as the starter and gave up six hits along with five runs while walking three and striking out three. Dylan Nelson pitched two innings of relief, allowing two hits and one run while striking out one and walking two.
Farris was the only Warrior with multiple hits (two) while Smith, Sparks, and Cameron Beasley each added one in the losing effort.
The final game of the weekend was a successful one for the Warriors. They defeated South Doyle 3-1 in a well-pitched effort from Drew Young. The senior pitcher got the start and pitched four-and-two-thirds innings, striking out six and allowing only three hits and a single run. After getting on base thanks to a walk, Allen stole second and third base and proceeded to make it home following a Reece single down the third base line. The Warriors struck again in the third as Sparks scored Reece on a line drive single to right field. Young batted in the final run of the inning, which was enough to put the boys on the road to victory with a 3-0 lead, which they clung to until South Doyle retaliated. They scored in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the WCHS lead to 3-1 but could not reach closer and fell by the same score.
Zach Burrier closed out the game for the Warriors and did not allow a single hit or walk during his time on the mound.
Although they only mustered five hits from Reece, Sparks, McDonald, Young, and Girdley, that was all it took for the Warriors to come away with their second win of the weekend.
Following this tournament, the Warriors move to 3-3 on the season and will face off at home against Notre Dame, at 6:30 p.m., March 18.