'Betsy outslugs HV in JV contest

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR Staff

   The contest between Elizabethton and Happy Valley JV teams was nothing less than a thriller to say the least, as the Cyclones edged out the win in a 15-13 final.
   "We played hard today, and have a lot of young kids who love the game of baseball," said Elizabethton coach Mike Hooks. "We made some mental errors, but physically we did what it took to win the ballgame, so I'm pleased."
   Happy Valley grabbed the early lead in the first frame off a hit to left field from Allen Dykes, which drove home Ricky Morgan, but the advantage was shortlived as the Cyclones responded the next inning.
   Elizabethton took a 4-1 advantage in the top of the second, when a balk at the mound scored Thorne Potter.
   Happy Valley tied the contest in the bottom of the frame off a home-run to left field by Ricky Morgan, as both teams stayed knotted receiving a run apiece during the next two frames.
   Elizabethton built momentum during the fifth frame, after scoring six runs with a two-run shot from Potter that made it 12-6 in the top of the fifth.
   "We've got to practice harder on our bunt coverage, and that's probably a big issue, but we'll get there," said Happy Valley JV coach Travis Hurley.
   Happy Valley rallied within two runs during the bottom of the frame, after a grand slam over the center-field fence was nailed by Todd Caldwell.
   "It's all about these young kids and that's why we play these freshman and JV games -- they've got to learn," said Hurley. "Todd and Ricky both swung the bat good for us and that was most of where our runs came."
   Preston Smith answered for the Cyclones in the top of the sixth with a three-run homer to left field.
   The Warriors trailed by five runs heading into the final frame after a hit from Dykes to left field cut the deficit to two.
   With just one out and two runners on base, the Cyclones managed to make the last two outs and fend-off the comeback.
   "Early in the season you're going to see mental mistakes, and in the heat of the moment they kind of lose what's going on, but we never quit," said Hooks. "There was a couple of times we looked down, but in the next inning we came out and scored four or five runs and did a good job. I'm really impressed with our freshman team. I had a lot of them on the mound today and I'm tickled to death to have that type of young people."