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Rivals square off in opening week

The 2014 high school baseball season got under way last week with several notable conference contests, none more intriguing than the early week matchup between rivals Daniel Boone and David Crockett.
The Pioneers and Blazers met in Gray on March 11, just a day after each team’s first game of the regular season.
Prior to the meeting between the rivals, Boone traveled to Bristol on March 10 against Tennessee High. The Blazers sent ace Daniel Cox to the mound and the senior south paw dazzled in his 2014 debut.
Cox pitched a complete game two-hit shutout and added a two-run home run at the plate for good measure to guide Boone to an 18-0 blowout victory and their first win of the season.
While the Blazers were unmatched in the first contest of 2014, the Pioneers first win wouldn’t come as easy.
Crockett opened the regular season on March 10 at Sullivan Central with a 9-6 win in a contest that would need extra innings to reach an outcome.
After playing out seven innings to a 6-6 tie, the game would only need an additional frame as Crockett’s senior second baseman John Long belted a three-run homerun in the top of the eighth inning to secure the Pioneer victory.
The homerun was Long’s fourth hit of the game, prior to the win-clinching bomb, he hit two doubles and a triple.
Following their season openers, the two rivals met in Gray with an opportunity for the winner to take an early step ahead in the conference standings.
For a second consecutive game, the Blazer bats were on fire guiding Boone to an early 9-3 lead after just three innings.
But Crockett would bounce back an inning later with a gigantic fourth inning.The Pioneers plated six runs in the top of the frame to knot the contest at 9. The scoring slowed until the sixth with the rivals locked.
In the home half of the sixth, the Boone offense struck again. The Blazers pushed eight runs across the plate in the inning to finally subdue the Pioneers, 17-9.
Blazer left-hander Brandon Davis earned the win in relief, pitching a scoreless fifth and sixth inning, allowing just one hit while striking out three.
Dustin Chandler and Josh Bacon led the Blazer offense in the win. Chandler finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Bacon reached base five times, finishing 2-for-2 with two RBIs and four runs scored.
For a second consecutive game, Long led the Pioneer offense with a 3-for-5 effort and Isaac Barkley plated four runs on 2-for-5 hitting.
Crockett bounced back with a 15-1 win over Unaka on March 13 and the Blazers pushed their record to 3-0 with an 11-1 win over Greeneville on March 14 to cap off a strong opening week for the both teams.