Devils make things hot for Betsy

By Ivan Sanders
STAR CORRESPONDENT
isanders@starhq.com

  
The Cyclone baseball team has been like Jell-O that hasn't jelled the whole season. On Wednesday evening in the David Crockett Invitational, the team showed signs of taking a little shape.
   Elizabethton kept battling back time and time again against a tough Greeneville squad, but just couldn't get over the hump in dropping a 8-7 decision at Warren Miller Field.
   "The guys just kept battling tonight by getting big hits and playing solid defense," said a satisfied Cyclone head coach Steve McKinney. "If they can keep on plugging away like they did tonight, good things are going to happen."
   Josh Gregg led off the second inning for Greeneville by flying out to Adam Greenlee in left field. Scott Dean ripped a double to left that he first thought was out of the ballpark to only slide in ahead of a good throw by Greenlee to Nat Treadway at second.
   Dean advanced on a Miller wild pitch to third and scored on a Chris Day ground ball.
   EHS responded quickly to the offensive output by the Devils as Daniel Range and Michael Porter led off the inning with singles. Nat Treadway reached on a fielder's choice grounder.
   Taylor and Hodge each grounded out, with each with their ground outs plating a run to give EHS the 2-1 lead.
   Greeneville just would not go away however as Watson picked up hit number two in the contest and stole second base. Greenway drew a walk from Miller.
   Watson took third on an error by Bray and scored on a ground out by Baugh to even the score at 2-2. Miller tempted Lister on a hanging curve to end the rally for Greeneville.
   Bowers and Bray singled in between two ground ball outs in the third frame, and Porter then stepped to the plate and crushed a three-run homer over the left field fence giving Betsy a 5-2 lead.
   "Porter has been hitting the ball great as well as Williams, Range, and Miller," stated McKinney. "If we can just keep making contact, we're going to make it happen."
   Greeneville was devilish in the fourth, feeding off what the Cyclones gave them. Three consecutive walks brought a close to Miller's night on the mound and put relief pitcher Wes Greer in a dangerous situation.
   Greer managed to fan the next two before walking leadoff batter Watson for a run. Greenway then spanked a Greer offering for a triple to clean the base paths and give Greeneville a 6-5 advantage. Baugh hit a lazy fly ball to Hodge for the third out of the inning.
   "Even though we got some hits off their pitching, their pitchers did a good job of holding us down," said Greene Devil mentor Randy Richards. "I guess we thought they would just lie down for us, but they proved they are a good squad."
   Williams, Bray, and Range each cranked out singles to kick off the bottom of the fourth. Porter then picked up another RBI on a fielder's choice. Porter advanced to third on a stolen base and a throwing error by the Greene Devil catcher, but Greer hit into a ground out to end the frame for the Cyclones, with EHS now up 7-6.
   Once again, Greeneville responded by plating one run on singles by Lister and Day to knot the score at 7-7 in the fifth. EHS managed to escape, holding tight to the heels of the Greene Devils.
   In the sixth, Brian Dean reached on an error by the Cyclones second baseman. Dean then raced home on a single by Lister to propel the Greene Devils to a lead they never relinquished.
   Elizabethton takes on host Crockett at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday as the tourney continues.