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Leonard lifts Pioneers over Boone


H&T Correspondent

After dropping five straight Big Seven Conference games to fall to 3-5 in the league, David Crockett ended the drought in exhilarating fashion.

The Pioneers rallied from a run down against the ace of arch rival Daniel Boone on Monday night at Warren Miller Park and pulled out a 2-1 victory in the final two innings.

Garrett Leonard’s two-out, walk-off single off Gaven Jones scored the speedy Brayden Reid.

The score was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh when Nate Laws delivered a one-out single, his second hit of the game. Crockett pinch-ran Brayden Reid for Laws.

Reid’s twin brother, Brenden, eventually drew a two-out walk to put Brayden in scoring position, setting the stage for Leonard.

“Gaven threw some really good pitches (in the seventh),” Crockett Coach Spencer Street said. “Brenden Reid came in the game and drew a crucial walk and we’ve got first and second. 

“Garrett Leonard came up and hit a fastball into left field and Brayden Reid – maybe the fastest guy on our team – scored from second to walk it off. And then it was pandemonium after that.”

Defense was the difference. 

Boone made two errors in the sixth that led to Hayden Osburn scoring from second on Mason Britton’s botched pop-up.

“And we got a key double play in the top of the seventh with runners on first and second, I believe, and their three-hole up,” Street said. “He grounds into a 6-4-3 double play – a great turn by Garrett and Nate and Cody Wheeley.”

At top, Crockett’s Garrett Leonard made the difference for the Pioneers with a walk-off single that scored Brayden Reid. Above, Pitcher Gage Peterson led the Pioneers from the mound allowing one run in five innings followed by Jacob Ayers who pitched two scoreless innings. (Photos by Ron Weaver)

Sophomore Gage Peterson allowed one run in five innings. He allowed four hits, walked four and struck out six.

Jacob Ayers pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the victory.

“It was a great team win,” Peterson said. “We struggled to get the bats going in the earlier innings and when you put the ball in play good things happen. Jacob came in and did great and got a clutch double play to end the inning.”

Ayers allowed no hits, walked one and struck out three.

“It was a great team win,” Ayers said. “Gage threw a great game and when you put the ball in play, good things happen. Garrett had a huge hit to help us win. This win is just a little sweeter since it was against our rivals.”

Leonard was the man of the hour after delivering the walk-off.

“So glad to get the W against our rival with my teammates,” he said.

Laws finished 2-for-3 for Crockett (4-5, 10-9). Cole Bishop and Hagen Edwards each went 2-for-3 for Boone (6-3, 14-8), which dropped its third straight league game after a 6-0 start.

Jones threw 111 pitches. He allowed four hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and gave up one earned run.

Crockett’s week included wins against Greeneville and Cocke County and a loss to Knox Catholic in the John Whited Memorial Classic.

Cody Wheeley got the win in the impressive 8-5 defeat of Greeneville on Thursday. Wheeley allowed no earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He allowed two hits, struck out three and walked four.

“We played a really good game against Greeneville,” Street said. “Cody Wheeley threw and it was the best he’s thrown all year. He looked like what we knew he could be at the beginning of the year. We gave up a couple of unearned runs. Hayden Osburn hit really well.”

Osburn was 3-for-3 with two runs, two RBIs and a double.

Boone defeated Morristown East (6-4) and Karns (11-1) in the Whited Classic on Saturday. Jackson Jenkins pitched six innings for the win against East and Brogan Jones pitched 5 2/3 innings for the victory against Karns. Jones and Kaleb Worley each went 3-for-3.

Boone’s tough week began when league-leading Science Hill completed a sweep with its second straight 1-0 victory against the Trailblazers, spoiling an excellent pitching performance from Preston Miller.

Daniel Boone Softball

Daniel Boone’s softball team defeated Morristown West 8-5 and lost 3-0 to Jefferson County and former state champion pitcher Catelyn Riley on Saturday in Dandridge.

Maggie Hillman got the complete-game victory against West. Senior Dannah Persinger and freshman Kyleigh Bacon each went 2-for-3 with an RBI at the plate for Boone (5-3, 24-9). McKenna Dietz doubled, walked and tallied two RBIs and a run. Audrey Moorhouse singled, walked and scored two runs.

Riley, the daughter of former Tennessee national champion offensive linemen Spencer Riley and an Ole Miss signee, struck out 13, walked one and hit a solo home run in the sixth.

David Crockett Softball

David Crockett (8-0, 23-4) defeated Tennessee High 2-0 on Thursday to remain unblemished atop the Big Seven Conference. Matty McKee pitched a six-hit shutout. McKee walked two and struck out nine.

Kennedy Broyles’ two-run single in the fourth inning was the difference.

Crockett defeated Sullivan East 10-3 on Monday. Ashlyn Dulaney had four hits and three RBIs and Mackenzie Baldwin had three hits and three RBIs.