Rangers hammer Tri-Cities

By Wes Holtsclaw

   The Unaka Rangers opened with a blast and ended with a blast, as they knocked off the Tri-Cities Christian Eagles 17-7 in five innings at Unaka High School.
   Ben Cole opened things with a grand slam Shot, while Jeremy McCann got his first career home run to end the ballgame.
   "I thought we came out and played real aggressive," said Cole. "Everybody hit the ball real well today. We did well in the field and didn't boot the ball as much as we had been. It was a good team effort."
   McCann was ecstatic after his shot to end the game.
   "I've never hit one, little league or anywhere else, and it just felt good," said McCann. "We came out and we needed a win like this. We haven't played very well. We came out and ended it in five, and to get a home run, it just felt pretty good."
   Unaka hit the ball well as a team during the game, and it pleased assistant coach Steve Long, who stepped in for coach Mike Ensor.
   Said Long: "It was much better, we got a much-needed win. We talked about this before the game, that our boys needed to come out and play our type of baseball from start to finish. We came out to a big lead. I put the young guys in and it got a little shaky, which was nothing major, but I put the starters back in to finish it up."
   Aaron Dugger went three for five on the day with a double, three runs and an RBI for Unaka. McCann scored three runs to go along with his 2 RBIs and homer, while Cole went two for two with his grand slam.
   Randy Swearingen went two for three with an RBI, Chad Lewis got a single with two runs, and Ryan Bowers got two runs and two RBIs on the day, helping the Rangers get the job done.