Holston Valley escapes Junior Rangers

from staff reports


   Unaka's Junior Rangers dropped a pair of tightly-contested baseball games on Saturday to Holston Valley Middle, which posted wins of 4-3 and 4-3.
   In Game 1 of the doubleheader with the Sullivan East feeder school, Unaka hurler Andrew Church threw five strong innings and left with the score at 3-3 at the end of regular innings.
   The Jr. Rangers threatened in their half of the sixth as Dustin Carden and Adam Colbaugh each singled, but Unaka was unable to come up with the big hit and the runners were left stranded.
   Terry Campbell entered in relief of Church. However, an error and some tough at-bats by the Rebels loaded the bases before walking in the winning run on a close, full-count fastball.
   Church, Michael Carpenter, Nick Papantoniou and Jeff Wilson collected two hits apiece for the Jr. Rangers
   Game 2 saw the Rebels plate three runs off Ranger starter Papantoniou after two Unaka errors put the hurler in a tough early jam. He gave way to Colbaugh, who held the Rebels at bay as the Jr. Rangers chipped away at the lead.
   Like Game 1 this one was tied 3-3, until the Rebels plated the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
   Unaka rallied in its last at-bat, but some questionable calls on the basepaths ended the Ranger threat.
   Colbaugh and Hunter Taylor banged out two hits each for the Jr. Rangers, who now stand at 6-7 and host Cranberry Middle School Tuesday at Holsclaw Field.