By COLLIN BROOKS
Before Daniel Boone’s Dean Malenda could get his foot off first base, his teammates were already mobbing him.
That’s what happens when you bring home the game-winning run against your county rival.
Malenda’s single in the bottom of the seventh inning brought home Colt Campbell and delivered a 7-6 win over David Crockett.
“I can’t even explain it,” Malenda said of the feeling after the contest. “My heart is just racing and I’m jittery in the batters box, you just want to get that hit. It was just a great atmosphere all around.”
Daniel Boone coach Rob Hoover was proud of Malenda and his teammates as the Blazers finished off the week 5-0.
“It’s one of those things where you talk about rivalry games and you can throw the records out the window, when we get together on the baseball field, it is always a one or two-run game,” Hoover said. “I have a lot of respect for those guys and they swung the bats well today.”
For the Pioneers, it was just another item on a long list of things that have seemed to go wrong this year.
“Snake bit is maybe a good word, bad luck, bad karma, maybe I dunno,” David Crockett coach Scott Hagy said after the game. “It’s just not going our way. It just seems like every thing that is happening is just happening bad for us right now.”
But Crockett’s day got off to a good start as the two teams traded runs in the first inning. The Pioneers started the game strong as Crockett’s Will Long drove in Ryan Burger to give the Pioneers the 1-0 lead. The Blazers would answer when Ryan Keever started the bottom of the inning with a single. Two batters later he was brought home by Austyn Brown to tie the game.
The Pioneers were able to score three runs in the top of the fifth-inning, as Will Leonard brought home Ethan Burger and Long, before Thatcher Vogt used a single to drive in Austin Hargrove.
That is when Hoover tested his players to see how they would respond.
“We challenged the guys there in the bottom of the fifth to be more competitive, just to get a little bit more spirit about us and to their credit, to our credit, the kids showed some fight and put together some good at bats to beat a good team that is really well coached,” Daniel Boone coach Rob Hoover said.
The Blazers answered that challenge with five runs in the sixth inning which started with a single by Eric Rigsby. He was brought home by Brown, who recorded his second RBI and second double of the day. That is when things seemed to break down for the Pioneers and they allowed Boone to score four more runs in the contest to take a 6-4 lead.
The Pioneers had one more fight in them as Long connected on his third single of the day and was later brought home by Vogt. A score by Leonard tied the game at 6, but the Pioneers weren’t able to preserve the contest for extra innings.