Rainy day dominance
The Pigeon Forge Tigers reignited their county rivalry with the Sevier County Bears with a bang Friday night at Jack A. Parton Field.
Playing in rainy conditions so miserable the groundskeepers should have been awarded most valuable player honors, the Tigers (13-0 overall) kept their heads, made plays on defense and rode their ace pitcher to a 10-0 five-inning win over SCHS (14-3).
Senior right-hander Wil Crowe pitched all five innings for the Tigers, striking out 10 Sevier County hitters and allowing just one hit in the victory. He also crushed an opposite-field two-run homer and collected two more RBIs in the game-ending, fifth-inning rally with a bases-loaded single. He ended the game with a team-high five RBIs.
SCHS freshman Zach Linginfelter started the game on the mound for the pitching-depleted Bears, who came into the big game on the heels of a Thursday night double-header which saw them top South-Doyle and Lenoir City.
Linginfelter’s defense struggled behind him early in the slop, as three errors helped the Tigers convert two hits into five runs in the contest’s first inning.
Senior catcher Ben Breazeale drove in the Tigers’ first run with a double into the right-center field gap, and another two came in moments later when a throwing error on an infield grounder sailed past first base.
Two more runs came by way of error before the frame was over. With Crowe staked a 5-0 lead that early, it was tough sledding for the Bears the rest of the way. Pigeon Forge added two runs to their lead in the second on Crowe’s two-run dinger to right-center.
Then neither team could muster much offense before the game-ending rally in the bottom of the fifth.
Sevier County senior Jeff Henry was the only Bears player to manage a hit off Crowe. Henry had a fourth-inning single to center and was stranded at first. Two other Bears did reach in the game by way of Tigers’ errors.