Devante Matthews powers Sevier County past Seymour, 6-1
Seymour baseball coach Scott Norman said rival Sevier County simply won all the big battles with runners in scoring position.
No plate victory was bigger than when Devante Matthews lofted a 3-2 pitch to the wall for a two-run triple in the second that got the Smoky Bears rolling on their way to a 6-1 victory on Monday night. Sevier County coach Casey Taylor said the win locks up the No. 1 seed in the district tournament for the Bears.
“It was a tone-setter,” Matthews said. “It started the fire and we just kept it going. Everybody started hitting after that.”
Pitcher Nick Osborne made it 3-0 with an RBI single the next inning before Sevier County exploded for three runs off four hits in the fourth. That burst all began with an infield single from designated hitter Nathan Clabo in his second varsity start.
Seymour got a run back in the seventh when Larry Kennedy led off with a double. It came too late for the Eagles to apply any pressure to the Bears.
“(Osborne) was tough to hit tonight,” Norman said. “We didn’t have many situations. They won the big battles.”
Bryce Catlett had a double for Seymour, which managed four hits on the night, just two of them coming against Osborne. Gunner Gibson took the loss for the Eagles, throwing three 2/3 in what Norman said was his first real start since missing time with an elbow injury.
“Again, I’ve got to give credit to my defense,” said Osborne, who struck out four. “I think we only had one error tonight. It didn’t hurt us at all. Really I was just pitching to contact. Letting them put in play and letting my defense play behind me.”
Gibson struck out the side in a quiet first for both teams. Osborne walked to start the second before Clabo was hit by a pitch with two outs. That brought up Matthews, who nearly hit a home run to left that went foul. Matthews worked the count back to 3-2 before his triple opened up the scoring and put the Eagles in a hole they never could climb out of. Matthews added a double in the fourth to finish with three RBI.
“I just think he’s a freak athlete,” Taylor said. “We’re just going to kind of ride him out. If he feels like he can go, we’re going to let him go and turn him loose. He’s really been playing awfully well as of late. His bat’s come alive within the last 2 1/2 weeks.”