Vikes fall victim to Jr. 'Clones

By Wes Holtsclaw

   BRISTOL--The T.A. Dugger Junior Cyclones invaded Avoca Park Thursday evening in search of their first Middle Eight Conference victories of the season.
   Backed by solid pitching and an array of offense, the Orange & Black whipped up on the Junior Vikings 12-2 and 4-0 in a doubleheader.
   "The bats really came around for once," said T.A. Dugger assistant coach Jared Ellis. "We've not hit well all year so it gave them some confidence and they showed a lot of power and showed what they can do if they play as a team. I was proud of them."
   The Junior Cyclones opened up the first contest on as scoring note as Preston Smith stole three bases and took a score after being hit by a pitch.
   T.A. Dugger continued its scoring ways in the second inning after Austin Taylor doubled Wes Issacs and Anderew Kennedy across the plate to take a 3-0 lead.
   The Jr. Vikings got their lone runs of the afternoon in the bottom of the frame as Cory Strickland doubled, followed by a Nick Borghi fielders choice. Brandon Bowers stepped it up with a double, scoring both of the runs and making it a one-run affair.
   The Junior Cyclones wouldn't let that get them down in the third inning.
   T.A. Dugger loaded the bases on singles and walks before Andrew Kennedy scored a run on a walk. Travis Bishop followed it up with a single, scoring three runners.
   Smith scored Bishop on a fielder's choice, while Issacs and Guinn scored on walks. Cory Hilton slammed a double, scoring two more as the Junior Cyclones went up 12-2.
   With a solid finale of pitching, Austin Taylor took the victory on the mound after the first contest was shortened after the third inning.
   The second contest was a tougher draw for the Cyclones, as Vance pitcher Andrew Taylor tossed eight strikeouts. However, T.A. Dugger used a short beginning and a strong end to take the win.
   Andrew Kennedy scored Wes Issacs on back to back singles to open the contest. It would be the only score until the fourth inning when Kennedy scored on a walk to Travis Bishop.
   Josh Guinn and Wes Issacs did a solid job on the mound for T.A. Dugger, allowing a combined two hits in the contest.
   The Junior Cyclones wound out the contest with RBI singles from Issacs and Hilton taking the 4-0 victory.
   "We've got some real strong pitchers," Ellis said. "They like to keep the ball up and throw strikes. They are real confident in themselves. I was glad to see them get it going."
   The wins pull the Cyclones even in conference play and looked to boost the team in future games.
   Said Ellis: "We're 2-2 and should be 4-0. The other night was a wake-up call, so I think we're going strong right now and looking forward to the other games."