Carter County Bank prevails in STAR event

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT
isanders@starhq.com

   In baseball, when a team is swinging a hot stick and can throw a buffet of pitchers at you, you know it's going to be a long night.
   T&C Lawn Care entered the quarterfinals of the Elizabethton STAR Preseason City Tournament at Jim Ensor Field looking to knock off a tough Carter County Bank from the National League, but despite a valiant effort, fell to the Bank by a score of 9-4.
   "We came into the last two games and hit the ball hard," said Carter County Bank manager David Mann. "That's what it takes to win is hitting the ball and being aggressive on the bases."
   The game was a nailbiter early as both teams allowed base runners, but was able to keep goose eggs on the board.
   Three straight singles by the one, two and three hitters of T&C, Lawn Care opened the contest with Frankie Covarrabias, Justin Pierce and Bryant Collins all connecting on hits. The boys from Carter County Bank were able to throw the clamps on T&C to keep them from scoring.
   CC Bank was able to get a little something going itself after the leadoff man for the Bank went down swinging. Derrick Mann laced a single, while Justin Fugua and Kenny Yarberry drew walks to load the bases.
   T&C Lawn Care, led by the pitching of Bryant Collins, kept CCB in check, and at the end of the first inning the score was knotted 0-0.
   Isaiah Osbourne, pitching for the Bank, had a solid top of the second inning as he set T&C down with a three up and three down inning that featured two strikeouts.
   Carter County Bank finally broke the ice in the bottom of the frame as Osbourne led off with a single. Heath Honeycutt and Eathan Laws worked the pitcher for walks. Cody Buck lined a single as did Chase Depew.
   After the fireworks by the Bank had cleared two runs were plated and the team from the National League led 2-0.
   The top of the third inning belonged to Osbourne once again as he whiffed all three batters in order to retire the side.
   With the power of a F-5 tornado, CCB came out howling in their frame of the third. Mann reached on a walk. Fugua, Yarberry, Cain McWalters, and Tyler Blevins all reached singles.
   Osbourne came to the plate to rip a double for his second hit of the night, and Honeycutt singled for the Bank before T&C managed to record an out.
   Gouge then walked and Buck picked up his second base knock to keep the inning going with Zack Livingston also picking up a base on balls. T&C finally managed to shut the door after six runs crossed the dish to put CCB up by a comfortable 8-0 margin.
   The guys from the American League weren't ready to give up just yet. Pierce led off the fourth with his second hit of the evening before Jarred Irick came to the plate and rounded the bases on an in-the-park homer scoring two.
   Josh Peterson, the feisty little catcher for T&C, then came up and smashed a single after the second out of the inning. Peterson used a flurry of speed to swipe three bases and score the third run of the inning.
   Josh Lipford worked relief pitcher Tyler Blevins, who had replaced Osbourne at the beginning of the inning, for a walk before the Bank finally squashed the rally.
   CCB added another run in its portion of the fourth on a triple by Mann and a double from McWalters. The score at the end of four stood in favor of CCB, 9-3.
   The final run of the contest came in the top of the fifth when Covarrubias reached on a walk and Pierce lined his third single of the evening to plate the speedy Covarrubias.
   The Bank went quietly in their frame of the fifth and Mann placed the final exclamation point on the contest by striking out the side in T&C Lawn Care's sixth inning of play.
   "We pitched some 10 and 11 year old pitchers tonight and they did very well," stated Coach Mann. "I don't see no reason why we shouldn't be in the championship if we can continue to play the way we did tonight."
   "They are a very well coached team," stated T&C Lawn Care coach Bobby Collins. "We have some young kids that won their first game the other day and if we can get our hitting down, we can play with anybody."
   Carter County Bank will advance to the semifinal game against the winner of the Twins-Grindstaff contest to be played at Jim Ensor Field tonight.