Junior 'Toppers deny TAD

from staff reports

   JOHNSON CITY -- Even in defeat, it was a meaningful day for the T.A. Dugger baseball team.
   In a battle for the Middle Seven Conference title, the Junior Cyclones dropped 7-0, 4-3 decisions to Science Hill and finished in a tie for second place.
   "We had an opportunity -- we were there," said TAD coach Jason Carter, whose team tied with Sevier for second. "That was good for our kids.
   "We were in a situation where we had things in our own hands. We didn't get it done, but we're definitely proud of what we've accomplished."
   The Junior Cyclones (8-4) enter the league tournament this Monday at Indian Trail, taking on Bristol at 8:30 p.m.
   In game one Friday, TAD had the misfortune of going against Junior Hilltopper ace Brandon Shoun.
   Shoun hurled a one-hitter, with Aaron Bray collecting the one hit. Adam Grindstaff absorbed the loss for the Junior 'Clones.
   The second game came close to going TAD's way as the boys from 'Betsy held a 3-2 advantage in the final frame.
   Drew Hyder put together a big game for the Junior 'Clones, going 3-for-3. Ryan Kennedy followed with a 2-for-3 performance, while Bray, J.C. Atkinson, Cory Pearson, Nick McNeal and Grindstaff banged out one hit each.
   Pearson was handed his first loss of the season.