Pigeon Forge, Seymour can't find a goal
It was a goalless draw that was just begging for a game-winner.
Pigeon Forge hit a post in the first half before having a goal disallowed in the second half while Seymour couldn’t put away a flurry of balls in the box on Thursday at the Sevier County Invitational.
“On that transition, going from defense to offense on our attack, our mids have to follow more instead of hang back,” said Tigers coach Bill Moseley. “There’s a few things everyone has to work on and we’re working on it.”
Pigeon Forge had almost twice as many shots as the Eagles, but many of those opportunities came in the first half. The Tigers showed they had the speed up front to blow past defenders on long balls, creating space for strikers like Melvin Gaitaho.
But finishing was the challenge. Gaitaho clanged one off the post after cutting back on a defender 17 minutes into the game. Seymour keeper Luke Sharpe had to reach back to save a ball later in the first half.
Much like the Tigers, the Eagles couldn’t string together passes in the final third. Jake McBrayer did a nice job carving his way through the midfield, but Seymour couldn’t get many clean shots on keeper Tyler Watts. Kameron Grunenwald had a couple opportunities, one off a header midway through the second half, that sailed high.
“I don’t think we did a great job possessing, but we tried,” McBrayer said. “We’re still learning. It’s a young team. … We haven’t played together. It’s a lot about chemistry. We’re trying to understand who’s where.”
Luckily for Seymour, youth up top has made scoring equally challenging for Pigeon Forge. The Tigers did put a ball in the net late in the game, but it was waved off when the official ruled Sharpe had his hands on the ball before a collision.
It was one of many tense moments McBrayer watched from midfield, hoping his teammates could fend off the Tigers’ speed.
“I was just like, ‘Oh goodness. Please, please, please catch them,’ ” he said.
Heritage 2, Gatlinburg-Pittman 1
SEVIERVILLE — The Highlanders frantically tried to score after Darwin Lanza cut the deficit to a goal with 28 minutes to play.
A post and a disallowed goal later, G-P had to swallow a loss.
“Not bad,” said Highlanders coach Zach Schrandt. “I’m proud of the effort. The only teams that have beaten us are AAA teams. Ultimately, can’t be too disappointed.”
A tie seemed imminent over those desperate final minutes. Luke Stone hit a post before the ball caromed off to a wide open Jesse Day. But the Mountaineers slide tackled the ball away at the last minute. A Harrison Genseal floater a few minutes later was disallowed due to offsides and the game ended with G-P waiting to take a threatening free kick.
Sevier County 8, Dixie (S.C.) 1
SEVIERVILLE — Anthony Lemus got the Smoky Bears off to a big start at the Sevier County Invitational.
The sophomore scored five goals to lead the rout while Chance Arnold added two. Lenin Salinas had a goal as well.
Gatlinburg-Pittman 6, Cosby 1
GATLINBURG — The Highlanders bounced back from a 17-0 loss to Pigeon Forge with a strong pitching performance from Kevin Profetta and plenty of extra bases.
Kyle Viers was 2 for 3 with a three-run homer while Austin and Matthew Sides each had an RBI and a triple. G-P had four triples to back up Profetta, who scattered four hits and struck out eight.
“To get a win was big for our kids,” said Highlanders coach Josh Warner. “We needed a win. I’ve got to commend the kids. They came in yesterday, had a great attitude and worked hard and got after it today. I was proud of them.”
Pigeon Forge 4, Monroe 2
PIGEON FORGE — The Tigers scored a run each in the fifth and sixth to earn the victory.
Koleman Roach was 2 for 3 with an RBI and a double while Josh Griffin had two hits and scored twice. Thomas Simms earned the win, allowing just two hits while striking out two in 2 1/3 innings.
Pigeon Forge 10, Cocke County 3
PIGEON FORGE — Jake Griffin, Max McCoig and Simms all drove in two runs each in this win.
The Tigers led 9-0 thanks to a six-run third before Cocke County got all its runs in the top of the fourth. McCoig finished with three hits while Bryson Sullivan scored twice. Josh Griffin pitched the first six inning, allowing three hits and three runs while striking out six.
Carter 12, Gatlinburg-Pittman 0
GATLINBURG — The Highlanders couldn’t manage a hit in this loss.
G-P coach Haley Johnson said her team had 10 errors and only five of the Hornets’ runs were earned.
Seymour 12, Cocke County 3
NEWPORT — A five-run fourth helped the Eagles pull away for the win.
Seymour had three homers in the day, with Reid Ballard, Bailey Pierce and Miranda Duncan all leaving the yard. Lauren Irwin had three hits and three runs while Ballard drove in four. Duncan had three RBI while getting the complete game victory. She struck out nine and scattered five hits.
Sam Baldwin added two RBI and three runs while Pierce drove in two.
Jefferson County 3, Sevier County 0
DANDRIDGE — The Bearettes couldn't get a run home despite singles from Jodie Watkins, Shelby Duke and Laura Ratledge.
Amber Wallin pitched all six innings, giving up a run in the third and two in the fifth,