By TREY WILLIAMS
The Daniel Boone baseball team bounced back from its third one-run loss of the season to top-seeded Science Hill to eliminate second-seeded Dobyns-Bennett with a 4-3 District 1-AAA tournament victory in Kingsport on Monday.
The Trailblazers (19-11) were scheduled to play at Tennessee High in the losers’ bracket final on Tuesday with a regional berth at stake.
Gutsy Gaven Jones, who threw 64 pitches in a 10-0 win against David Crockett on Friday, came back to throw 110 pitches while working 6 1/3 innings against D-B for the victory on two days rest.
“He got a little tired there in the seventh,” Boone Coach Scott Hagy said. “We talked about pulling him out. I talked to Gaven about what I was going to do. He’s a senior. He’s earned that right to say, ‘I can do it’ or ‘I can’t.’ So I let him go probably a batter too long than maybe I should have, but I think he’s earned that right.”
D-B had erased a three-run deficit to tie the score, 3-3, when Boone took the lead for good in the sixth. Catcher Cole Bishop doubled after falling behind 0-2 and Jackson Jenkins singled on an 0-2 pitch to set the stage for Hagen Edwards, who doubled in courtesy runner Zach Zuehlke with what proved to be the game-winning RBI.
“Cole Bishop led it off with a double – a hard-hit ball over the left fielder’s head,” Hagy said. “He hit two extremely hard tonight – two doubles. Hagen had been on it all night and had just missed it two times earlier – just missed hitting it really hard.
“You know, I just said, ‘Look, you’re on it. Don’t miss it this time.’ That’s about all there was to it. His swing was good and he got that last one. I was pretty proud of him.”
Bishop got things started by throwing a haymaker at Crockett in Boone’s district opener. His grand slam opened the scoring in a seven-run first and the Trailblazers rolled to a five-inning, 10-0 win. Jones pitched a one-hitter.
“The grand slam in the first inning by Cole Bishop was huge,” Hagy said. “You could just tell when he hit that one out – when we have Gaven on the mound and you give him a lead, we feel pretty good about that. That was basically what happened with Crockett.
“We jumped on ‘em and they helped us a little bit. They made a mistake or two, but we didn’t let ‘em up off the deck to get back after us. And Bishop’s grand slam – it set the tone for that.”
The following day, after Science Hill had taken a 1-0 lead on a Cole Torbett home run, Griffen Jones tripled and scored on Brogan Jones’ sacrifice fly in the third to tie it. The score remained tied until Nate Conner scored AJ Motte with a walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth.
Hagy wasn’t surprised to see the ‘Blazers bounce back from yet another heartbreaker against the Hilltoppers.
“It’s a pretty resilient bunch,” Hagy said. “They really are. They’re a lot of fun to be around.”
David Crockett Baseball
David Crockett ended the season with a 13-13 record. Senior Cody Wheeley hit nine of the Pioneers’ 12 home runs and led the team with 31 RBIs, 31 runs and 20 walks while batting .365. Brenden Reid led the team in batting (around .385).
Daniel Boone Softball
Having already clinched the No. 2 seed for the District 1-AAA tournament, Daniel Boone’s softball team concluded the regular season with a 5-4 win at home against Science Hill (29-11) on Friday.
Suzie Chatman (8-1) got the victory with 6 1/3 innings for the Trailblazers. Kayleigh Quisenberry recorded the two-out save.
Audrey Moorhouse, Maci Masters and Josey Jenkins each drove in a run for Boone and Savannah Jessee and Camryn Sarvis each went 2-for-4.
The district tournament was postponed on Monday. Boone (28-9) was scheduled to host seventh-seeded Cherokee on Tuesday after press time for the Herald & Tribune.
David Crockett Softball
Top-seeded David Crockett (30-6) received a bye. The Pioneers are scheduled to host the Science Hill-Tennessee High winner on Wednesday.
The Pioneers completed an undefeated record in the Big Seven Conference with a 6-2 win at Science Hill on Thursday. Kennedy Broyles started for Crockett and reliever Matty McKee got the victory with four shutout innings.
Broyles and Mackenzie Baldwin were each 2-for-3. Baldwin delivered a solo home run in the fifth and an RBI double in the sixth. Baldwin scored twice, as did Alyssa Suits.