Bulldogs take a bit out of North

By Wes Holtsclaw

   The Hampton Bulldogs came out Wednesday afternoon on a mission. After losing their two previous games to Unaka and Elizabethton after holding suitable leads, the Bulldogs (5-6, 1-4) rallied from the beginning and stifled the Sullivan North Golden Raiders with a huge 10-3 victory at Hampton High School.
   "Their a good team, well coached, and well disciplined team," said Hampton coach Scottie Bunten, "We jumped on them early and our pitcher (Ryan Deskins) hasn't been able to throw there any lately, he's been sore. He gave us some good quality innings there early, got a little shaky at the end you know, with the bad weather."
   Despite the cold and drizzling weather, Ryan Deskins pitched an outstanding game, only allowing two hits in seven innings. He was backed up offensively by a tough performance from Adam Miller who went two of four, with a double and four RBI's. Deskins added an RBI for the Bulldogs as well.
   "The kids hung in there, they hit good pitches, they made the boys throw the ball over the plate today. They didn't make the stupid base running errors today, and got some timely hits with people on base. It was good for the young kids to get a win like that under their belt."
   "We were terrible, you've gotta give credit to Hampton," said Sullivan North coach J.D. Colquitt, "They did well, slung the bats well. Their pitcher did an outstanding job. We were just terrible, I'm not sure we could've beat anybody today. This is not taking anything away from Hampton, we were just awful."
   Hampton performed well in virtually every aspect of the game. Justin Waycaster led the fielding charge for the Bulldogs, as the leftfielder pulled down five tremendous catches in the outfield area.
   Jon Yates and Josh Jenkins had the only hits for Sullivan North on the day, with Jenkins pulling out an RBI. North big man Chuck Odom went 0-4 with an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
   In the first inning, Hampton came out faster than the dropping females from the 1970's Michael Martin Murphy hit 'Wildfire.' Pulling out catches on two consecutive swings, Waycaster set the pace for Hampton, as Yates hit into a trap, leaving the Golden Raiders with less than most bankrupt people get back from the IRS.
   Hampton came out quick, as Eric Swain, Kevin Harrison, and Deskins got on base. Swain scored from an error by opening North pitcher Shaun Gill, as Adam Miller bombarded North with a torpedo into right center, bringing in the two on base runners, to give Hampton the quick 3-0 lead over the Raiders.
   North fell into a hole again in the second inning, as Deskins and the gang robbed the bank again, dropping three more batters, holding the three to zip lead.
   The Raiders made a pitching change at the bottom of the second bringing Chris Eaton to the mound. Eaton fell trap, as he walked in Brad Hodge, who slammed a double to open the frame, and Josh Moss. An error brought in Eric Swain to give Hampton the 6-0 lead.
   The Bulldog defense sat Sullivan North out again, keeping the Deskins no-hitter rolling through three innings.
   Hampton landed three more batters on base before another pitching change took place, as Josh Jenkins took the mound in the third. Kevin Harrison quickly singled in Hodge, before a sac play from Deskins brought Josh Moss in for the score.
   Adam Miller stepped back up, this time launching a cruise missile into centerfield, providing two more RBI's with his double. Hampton escaped the inning with a 10-0 lead.
   North shut the Hampton offense down for the most part in the later part of the game, but it would be too late as the Bulldog lead looked bigger each time the Golden Raiders stepped to bat.
   North finally got their first hit of the day from Jon Yates, but fell to a perfect double play from Moss to Swain to Hodge. The Raiders scored their first run in the fifth, from a Jenkins RBI single.
   The would score once each in the sixth and seventh inning, as Yates scored on an infield error, and a sacrifice fly from Odom brought in Jimmy Arnold.
   But it wasn't enough, as Hampton scored the big victory over North with the 10-3 win.
   Hampton travels to Sullivan Central for a Thursday afternoon showdown with the Cougars, while North will play Elizabethton. Game time for both events is 4:00.