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Blue Devils too much for Warriors, 14-0

BY AUSTIN ALEXANDER
STAR CORRESPONDENT
ERWIN – Unicoi County played host on Thursday evening to the Happy Valley Warriors in round one of the District 1-AA baseball tournament.

A sunny, breeze-filled evening set the stage for a ball game the Warriors were always underdogs in. The Blue Devils came to play and a few errors from Happy Valley spelled disaster as the game ended in the 5th on the mercy rule, 14-0.

The Unicoi County pitching staff has been really great all year so the Warriors knew they were up against some fierce competition. After a quick groundout started the inning, Warriors senior Alex Lunceford would bloop a single into right.

After a walk put another runner on base, Pedro Colunga smacked a two-out line drive single into right loading the bases for the Warriors. Up would step Andrew Clawson who couldn’t find a hit leaving the bases juiced.

The Blue Devils didn’t waste any time at all getting their bats going putting several runners on base, a couple of which were aided by some poor fielding from Happy Valley, something that has plagued them throughout the year.

A two-run bomb from Blue Devil ace Lucas Slagle only made matters worse.

After the first inning, the Warriors trailed 4-0.

The top of the second saw the Warriors go three up and three down and things did not look good for the visitors.

Unicoi County didn’t skip a beat back up to bat as they continued to swing away.

The Blue Devils would continue to find base runners with the Warriors doing everything they could to stop the bleeding, including making a pitching change, but to no avail.

Another three runs increased the deficit at 7-0 after two.

The third inning was still a drought for the Happy Valley bats, but a much better frame in the defensive half only allowed one run in the inning.

Happy Valley got their first base runner since the first inning in the form of a Clawson walk, but nothing was made of it and the Warriors still had no answers.

The Blue Devils would continue the onslaught in the bottom half scoring six runs on five hits as the Warriors continued to struggle in the field. A few walks didn’t help matters either.

Happy Valley finally found a hit in the top of the fifth with Colby Chausse doubling into left, but it was far too late and the mercy rule was called after the next out and the Warriors took the loss 14-0.