Warriors demolish 'Dogs
By Wes Holtsclaw


   The Happy Valley Warriors left Bulldog Field looking back like The Rock, as the Warriors 'laid the smackdown' on the Hampton Bulldogs (7-13) with a 14-1 victory Tuesday afternoon.
   "I really challenged them," said Warrior skipper Greg Hyder of his players. "Yesterday, at times we didn't play well and we didn't finish it, and today we jumped up and put it to them about the fourth and fifth inning as we kept scoring."
   "But hey, Hampton's been playing better, they've been beating some people. They've got a couple of big wins in the conference, and we knew it would be tough. I thought we did a good job."
   Happy Valley (14-10, 5-5) came knocking from the beginning, but didn't start to manipulate the Bulldogs until a 8-run fifth inning. From that point on, it was the Warriors' court as they held Hampton through the fifth inning.
   "They just pounded us," said Hampton coach Scotty Bunton. "They hit the ball real well, we didn't. Their pitcher (Holmes) did a good job on us and we did didn't hit the baseball.
   "And we lost our composure in an inning there and made four or five errors in a row. And they put us away like a good baseball team is supposed to do."
   The Warriors opened up with a quick Lamar Rollins run, to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning, before making some moves in the second inning behind a Rollins single which brought in Joe Howell and Jon Harrison.
   Tim Whaley followed up with a huge triple to bring in Rollins and Shannon Buchannon to take the quick 5-0 lead over the 'Dogs. Just as the offense was flowing, the defense was breaking down the Hampton offense.
   Michael Holmes struck out three in the first two innings, only giving up one hit to that point in the game. The defense was just as promising as the Warriors got good plays from Shawn Baer and Harrison.
   Said Hyder: "We had good hitting, good pitching. Tim Whaley hit it on the nose at every at bat, I thought it was a big day for him. Michael Holmes wanted this game. He told me last week that he wanted it, and it was a big one for us. He went out and played a good game."
   Hampton came out strong, as Eric Swain took control with a hit early in the third inning. Kevin Harrison followed up with a huge hit in center field, which was miraculously caught by Shannon Buchannon as the Warriors kept the tilt in their favor.
   Ryan Toney scored for Happy Valley in the fourth after a pop out RBI from Buchannon. But that was just the beginning of the total tilt from the Tribe. The Warriors got kicking with a Cody Cannon single, followed by a Dan Bach RBI double.
   A Shawn Baer double brought in Bach, as Jon Harrison proceeded to hammer in Baer and Howell. Rollins brought in Toney, and Whaley followed suit with a 2-run double.
   Whaley was brought in with a Cannon double to end the eight run stampede for Happy Valley, as the Warriors took a 14-0 lead. Hampton came back with a score of its own, as Swain was dealt in from Harrison to finish the game at 14-1.
   Coach Hyder was impressed with his team's efforts after the strong fifth inning and with the game.
   "You jump on people like that and you put them away, that way hopefully they'll lay down and quit," he said. "We've made a couple of mistakes in the field at times.
   "Had that humungous place in right field when the score was 6-0. Real quick kid at bat, if the ball goes over Shannon Buchannon's head, it's a triple. Plus they score a run like that. I was proud of him. He also had a couple of hits, he's a freshman."
   "We had a lot of good things out of the young kids today. It's good for them. Those kids need to play, and get the experience."
   Happy Valley hosts Volunteer at home this Thursday, while Hampton travels to Cloudland Park for a non-conference matchup with the Highlanders this Friday.