T.A. Dugger stops Vance in tourney

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR CORRESPONDENT

   JOHNSON CITY -- It was a cool, clear and breezy night for the Middle Seven Conference tournament at Indian Trail on Monday.
   That is until a thick dark cloud passed over, producing a major Junior Cyclone victory, which lasted all the way into early Tuesday.
   T.A. Dugger ripped apart Vance 6-3 advancing its way into the second round against Sevier.
   "We had a lot of guys play tonight and it was a total team effort, so now we're one step closer with a chance to play Sevier," said T.A. Dugger coach Jason Carter.
   The Jr. Cyclones struck early in the first inning, when a hit to shallow right from J.C. Atkinson drove home Ryan Kennedy.
   Vance came back in the top of the second to tie the contest, after an error by the shortstop allowed Miles Hite the opportunity to score.
   T.A. Dugger regained the lead in the bottom of the frame as a throw from the pitcher sailed over the third baseman's head, enabling Adam Grindstaff to come home.
   The Cyclones added another run in the third, with a double to left field by Cory Pearson scoring Kennedy.
   Neither team produced any runs in the fourth and fifth frames, as both teams were seeing good pitching displayed from the mound.
   The Cyclones cycled through three different pitchers before the night had ended, giving up just four hits between them.
   "We feel like we have three or four guys who can come in, and each one of them get a few good innings," said Carter.
   Vance looked to make a run in the top of the sixth, getting a shot from Daniel Booher up the middle to score Daniel Sayler and narrow the lead to within a run.
   In the bottom of the sixth, the pitching for the Vikings went away, as Sayler started to fatigue.
   "This kid was in the sixth inning on a late night, and we took advantage of the opportunity with him throwing a lot of pitches," said Carter.
   It was a good effort up until then, but a hit batter and walk, which loaded the bases, led to a pitching change with Booher taking the mound.
   Three straight walks led to Pearson, Nick McNeal and Travis Bishop all coming home to give T.A. Dugger a 6-2 lead heading into the final frame.
   "We have a lot of kids, and we feel like we don't slack off at all when we put different ones in, so we're really excited about that," said Carter.
   In the last inning of play, the Vikings attempted to comeback by getting their first two batters on base.
   The Cyclones managed two outs before Sayler ripped a single to left field, scoring Brent Fobbri.
   The last out came with Grindstaff striking out Booher, making it a sweet ending to a long and hard night.