Taylor earns 1st wins at SC
Starting off the season 2-0 with a pair of District 2-AAA wins in his back pocket, first-year Sevier County coach Casey Taylor was a happy man Tuesday night at Cliff Davis Field.
“It’s good to put the first baby to bed,” Taylor said following his team’s 13-2 and 3-1 doubleheader sweep of visiting Cocke County. “We wanted to come out and have a good showing. We were concerned with Cocke County, they’ve got a lot of experience and the (Deagan) Peak kid is a good pitcher.”
Resuming the first game (which was suspended by rain Monday) with a 3-2 lead, the Bears exploded in the contest’s later innings with nine runs in the final two frames to pull off the 13-2 victory.
“(Cocke County) kicked it around a little,” Taylor said. “They had five errors and we capitalized on their mistakes.”
Seniors Dillon Cate and Nick Clabo each delivered singles for the Bears in the contest, while Jake Hall (1B and 3B) and Jeff Henry (1B and 3B) each turned in multi-hit games for the Purple and White.
Cate started the game on the mound for the Bears Monday, tossing 21⁄3 innings, giving up two hits, two walks and two earned runs while striking out four Fighting Cocks.
Sophomore Nick Osborne, who transferred to Sevier County from Bearden this year, started things off in the resumed game Tuesday and pitched 32⁄3 innings of stellar scoreless relief work to earn the win. He surrendered two hits and a walk, while fanning four.
Junior Logan Brett, in his first varsity work on the mound, struck out the Cocke County side in the seventh to close out the game.
The second contest of the night was a lot closer.
“(CCHS) played a lot better,” Taylor said. “They threw Dagen Peak, their top guy, and he had a little bit of velocity and kind of got in a rhythm there. He was kind of an equalizer.
“It was a great high school baseball game.”
SCHS starter Jeff Henry went the first 32⁄3 innings before giving way to sophomore Austin Connor with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth with two outs.
“(Connor) gets a ground ball right back at him and gets out of it and goes clean the next innings,” Taylor said. “That was clutch for us, bases were loaded it was a 1-1 game, that’s the first he’s really been in that intense situation.”
Connor earned the win in relief, pitching 21⁄3 innings of hitless ball, while striking out one.
Freshman Devante Matthews pitched the final inning, striking out one, to get the save.
“The second game was just a great win,” Taylor said.
Hall, Connor, Bryce McFalls, Dylan Ford, and Ivan Silva all had singles in the win for the Bears, while Henry was the hitting star for the Bears with a pair of hits, including the go-ahead RBI in the bottom of the fifth.
The Bears will play again today at Bearden in the BSN Team Sports Classic tournament. They’ll continue the tournament against Fulton on Friday, which will also be played a Bearden, and then play an early game against Gibbs at Oak Ridge on Saturday.