By TREY WILLIAMS
Effective starting pitching and timely hitting propelled Daniel Boone to a two-game home-and-home sweep of rival David Crockett last week.
Matt Cox scattered six hits and walked one while striking out nine en route to a complete-game victory in Boone’s 2-1 triumph at Clarence Mabe Field on Monday. Hunter Adams pitched 5 2/3 innings for the victory in Boone’s 6-3 win at Warren Miller Field on Tuesday.
“Matt and Hunter pitched well … and saved some arms,” Boone coach Rob Hoover said. “Any time our starters can go six or seven innings is great.”
Cox outdueled Crockett’s Devin Foster, who was a hard-luck loser for the second straight week after tossing a gem in a 1-0 loss to Dobyns-Bennett.
“It was a good battle,” Hoover said. “Both of those guys changed speeds really well. Foster – the week before – got beat 1-0 by Dobyns-Bennett. So he knows how to pitch.
“I thought we could’ve done a little bit better job of staying back and changing our approach hitting a little bit. But to his credit he continued to throw a changeup and worked us away. He never gave us anything good over the middle to hit.”
Daniel Boone senior Eric “Doc” Rigsby went 3-for-3 with a double, triple, two runs and two RBIs in the 6-3 victory. Rigsby, who announced his commitment to Carson-Newman last week, is the lone ‘Blazer batting better than .400 on the season.
“He had some great at-bats at Crockett,” Hoover said. “I think it was the second one where he may have fouled off eight or nine balls. And he ended up with three hits.
“He’s seeing the ball well. That’s kind of what we expect from him and he’s gonna have to continue to do that for us to score.”
Sophomore Cade Elliott had a pair of RBI doubles in the 6-3 win. Senior Zach Taylor was the man of the hour in the 2-1 victory. Taylor doubled and scored on Brody Goodman’s single to tie the score, 1-1, in the fifth and followed Rigsby’s double with a game-winning RBI single in the sixth.
“We hit it just enough,” Hoover said. “We left some runners out there again. But we swung the bats better Tuesday than we did Monday. We’re looking for other guys (besides Rigsby) to step up and swing the bats better than we have the last two weeks, for sure.”
Crockett’s Foster allowed six hits, walked four and struck out six in six innings. Senior southpaw Tanner Treadway struck out eight in six innings in the Pioneers’ 6-3 loss.
“Seven of our last 11 games have been decided by three runs or less,” Crockett first-year coach Nick Lingerfelt said. “Our pitching coach, Coach (Dustin) Clawson, has done a great job with our pitchers. We’ve got them throwing strikes and our defense is playing well. We just haven’t come up with that timely hit.
“The last two outings for Devin have been really good against Kingsport and Boone. Tanner Treadway’s thrown well. He threw well against Oceanside down in Charleston (S.C.) and he threw well against Boone. Cade Larkins has come on and been throwing well and throwing strikes. Luke Adams, a junior left-hander, has given us some good innings.”
Crockett catcher Will Long (Tennessee Tech) went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and an RBI in the 2-1 setback. Long has needed patience while being pitched carefully this season.
“They’re pitching Will like you normally would a good hitter,” Lingerfelt said. “He’s made some adjustments. He led off the other night with a home run in the top of the first against a really quality pitcher. He’s coming along. I’ve gotta give him kudos, because he was struggling early on.”
The Pioneers’ Landon Quillen hit a 3-2 pitch for a three-run double in the sixth inning of the 6-3 loss.
“We’ve been struggling with runners on base,” Lingerfelt said. “Quillen’s hit was our first in five or six games with runners in scoring position. It was a big hit for him. There’s a lot of potential for him there.”
The Pioneers (0-8, 1-15) will host Wolcott (Conn.) on Saturday at 4 p.m. Wolcott is coached by Pioneers great Tary Scott, who will be in town on a day when Crockett recognizes its 1978 state tournament team, which included Scott’s older brother Dale.
Tary played in a JUCO World Series for Walters State and Dale played in the JUCO World Series while at Roane State.
Daniel Boone (5-3, 9-5) is scheduled to play at Sevier County on Friday at 6 p.m.