Boone baseball has strongest week to date
By Christopher ShieldsWith the baseball district tournament set to begin May 3, the Daniel Boone High School Trailblazers and David Crockett High School Pioneers have solidified their spots in conference rankings. Boone (16-12, 9-4) sits at third while the Pioneers (9-17, 4-9) hold sixth place.
Boone entered the final full week of the regular season with a contest against the Big 8’s best team, Science Hill, and another against Sullivan South, the team nipping at the Blazers’ heels for third place.
Boone answered in a big way, winning both games.
On April 22, at Clarence Mabe Field, the Blazers pulled off their biggest win of the season, a 6-5 victory over Science Hill.
After two scoreless innings to open the contest, Science Hill struck first in the top of the third inning, plating three runs on a home run.
Science Hill’s lead was short lived as the Blazers responded with four runs in the home half of the inning.
Boone’s Zach Peters and Jake Littleton each drove in runners and Cameron Clabaugh capped off the inning by driving in two more to give the Blazers a 4-3 lead.
The Hilltoppers tied the game with a run in the top of the fifth, but Boone countered in the bottom of the inning, bringing in another run to regain the lead at 5-4.
A scoreless sixth had Boone on the cusp of their biggest win of the season, but an error put a Science Hill runner at second to begin the seventh. Before the inning was over, the Hilltoppers had once again tied the game.
Boone’s Taylor Smith opened the seventh with a walk and the Blazers moved him over to second with a bunt. A Clabaugh infield grounder should have sent the game to extra innings, but the throw to first missed and Smith turned the error into a run, giving the Blazers a 6-5 walk-off win.
The win snapped Science Hill’s perfect conference mark and moved the Blazers a game away from securing third place in the Big 8.
Daniel Wagner opened the contest on the mound and Littleton took over in relief in the fourth. Smith also pitched, earning the win.
Following the Science Hill victory, the Blazers traveled to Sullivan South on April 23.
Boone opened with two runs in the first frame and added two more in the third and fourth. The Blazers 4-2 lead evaporated quickly in the home half of the fourth with South plating two runs to tie the contest.
In the seventh, it was Clabaugh again playing hero, this time with a single that brought in two Blazer runners. Boone kept South scoreless in their final opportunity to win 6-4.
Littleton guided the Blazers on offense, finishing 4-for-4 with three RBIs. David Love earned the win in relief for Boone starter Daniel Cox.
The Blazers finished the week with out-of-conference games against Unicoi County and Elizabethton. They split the contests, dropping the game to Unicoi 5-0 but winning against Elizabethton 8-4.
The Pioneers opened the week with their worst showing in Jonesborough against Dobyns-Bennett.
The Pioneers walked 12 batters and committed six errors in a 24-4 loss that only lasted five innings.
The next day, the Pioneers bounced back against Volunteer.
Crockett starter Chase Miller allowed just two hits in a complete game shutout. The Pioneer defense was perfect in the field.
The Pioneers scored 10 runs on 11 hits. Heath Ricker finished with two hits, his biggest a two-run home run in the third.
The Pioneers opened the contest by scoring two in the first inning. They exploded for seven runs in the third and pushed a runner across in the fifth to end the contest early.
Crockett followed up the Volunteer win by downing Unaka 12-4 on April 25.