Around the diamond: Sevier County drops opener to South-Doyle

Mar. 10, 2014 @ 11:03 PM

Sevier County’s baseball opener went about the way coach Casey Taylor thought it would.
Runs were tough to come by against South-Doyle pitcher Blake Stansberry and a handful of miscues proved to be costly for the Bears in a 5-1 loss on Monday at Cliff Davis Field. Stansberry held the Smoky Bears to two hits and a run off a Dalton Ford RBI double in the third.
“We figured tonight we were going to have a hard time (against Stansberry),” Taylor said. “We prepped to score three runs. We knew we were going to have our hands full.”
Sevier County still had its opportunities. Ford was thrown out at home to end the third and then the Bears put runners at second and third an inning later. But Austin Conner struck out to end the fourth and South-Doyle scored two in the fifth off some errors, a passed ball, a hit batter and John Murell’s second RBI double of the game.
“That’s very tough, right there,” said Bears outfielder Dalton Ford. “The main thing we talk about is when you get runners on, you want to get them over, get them in. If you leave them stranded, it just kills our offense.”
That deficit was too much for Sevier County to overcome. Despite good contact all day, the Bears hit too many pitches right at defenders, failing to record a hit over the last three innings.
Sevier County gets a second shot at South-Doyle on Tuesday in Knoxville.
“For us, the kind of key thing now is whenever something doesn’t go perfect, how do you respond to that? Tomorrow’s a huge game for us,” Taylor said. “We’re going to treat it that way.”
Pigeon Forge sweeps A-E
KNOXVILLE — The defending class AA state champions had little trouble, rolling by Austin-East 14-1 in the opener before picking up 25 runs in the first inning of a 25-0 game two win.
Scott LaFollette pitched a five-inning no-hitter in the first game before Turner Whaley allowed just a hit in the nightcap. Whaley also doubled twice.
Pigeon Forge got plenty of run support behind some deep homers. Koleman Roach drove balls out in both games, including a towering shot off the school in the first game. LaFollette and Chase Effler also homered.
The Tigers host Tennessee High on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Seymour 21, Jeff County 1
DANDRIDGE — Hunter Longmire gave up just two hits over five innings while the Eagle offense backed him up with a 10-run fourth to roll to the win.
Bryce Catlett was 4 for 4 with a homer and five RBI while Kendall Catlett had three hits with an RBI and a double. Larry Kennedy hit two homers and had three RBI while Gunner Gibson was 3 for 3 with a pair of runs batted in. Cade Snapp went 3 for 4 with an RBI.
The Eagles are back at home against the Patriots on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Gatlinburg-Pittman 14, Cherokee (N.C.) 8

CHEROKEE, N.C. — New Highlanders coach Haley Johnson said she knew freshman Jerri Leffew was going to be special.
But Johnson didn't expect nine total bases in Leffew's first three trips to the plate.
"She’s a pretty good hitter for a freshman," Johnson said. "She has the opportunity to be special. I saw that early. When we first started taking some cuts you could see it."
Leffew was 3 for 5 with a double, triple, home run to start her day. She finished with four RBI while senior Emily Hudson had two singles and a triple in the win.
Kelsey Henry had a good day in the circle to get the win, striking out 10 and allowing just one earned run.
Seymour 8, William Blount 3
SEYMOUR — The Eagles recovered after giving up a run in the top of the first, scoring five over their first two innings to shake off the cobwebs and win.
"We didn’t play real good defense to start out with," said Seymour coach Jess Sterling. "Miranda (Duncan) pitched well all night long. ... After everybody calmed down we did better."
Reid Ballard was 3 for 3 with four RBI for the hosts while Lauren Irwin had two hits, three runs scored and two batted in. Duncan went the distance, allowing six hits and just two earned runs while striking out eight.
Alcoa 7, Pigeon Forge 1
ALCOA — This game was scoreless until the fourth when the Tornadoes scored seven runs over two innings.
Pigeon Forge got a run back in the seventh when BrieAnna Styles came home on a McKenzie Murphy RBI single. Murphy finished 3 for 3. Alisha Norris took the loss in the circle, striking out one and not walking anyone.
The Tigers are off until next Tuesday when they travel to Austin-East.