Cougars clip Warriors in bottom of seventh

By Wes Holtsclaw

   BLOUNTVILLE--Shane Jobe opened and closed in swinging fashion.
   The Sullivan Central pitcher belted stepped up with a game-winning, two-run double in the seventh inning to oust the Happy Valley Warriors 6-5 on Tuesday.
   It was his second two-run double of the game, and prevented a comeback win and solid performance from the Warriors and pitcher Ryan Toney.
   "Both teams battled and it was a heck of a game all around the board," said Happy Valley assistant coach Billy Etter. "They jumped out early on us and our guys battled back, which is what we've wanted them to do all year long."
   "I've gotta take my hat off to Central, they hung in there and they're a well coached bunch," he said. "Coach Crantz has got a great group of kids over there and they battled as hard as we did. Both teams deserved to win tonight."
   The Warriors got caught in a bind early after a Jobe two-run double in the first inning. Joey Watson and Eric Allen got on base in the second inning, as Daniel Shelton singled two more runs for the Cougar's cause.
   The Warriors got on track in the fourth inning when Cody Cannon doubled and scored from a Toney RBI single. After a solid string of defense, Happy Valley caught fire again when Lamar Rollins was hit from a pitch, and scored on a Joe Howell double.
   Todd Caldwell was struck by a Joey Watson pitch, setting up Toney who crushed a ball over left-centerfield with a three-run homer to take a 5-4 lead in the fifth.
   "I was going up there trying to do my job," said Toney, who also tallied 11 strikeouts on the day. "I struggled early pitching, trying to throw strikes. I went up there trying to hit the ball. I was wanting to redeem myself and help myself out on the mound."
   The Warriors had an out in the seventh inning, before a crucial error allowed another runner on board. It set up Jobe's game-winning double.
   "Happy Valley fought hard and Coach Hyder does a great job with that program," said Sullivan Central coach Brandon Krantz. "It was just a good high school baseball game, it went back-and-forth. We were very fortunate to come out on top."
   Jobe had seven-strikeouts on the mound before exiting to Watson, who took the win.
   "Shane's done the job all year," Crantz said. "This weekend, down in Knoxville we won a big tournament and he came through all weekend. He had three home runs. Today, he just stayed focused and drove the baseball and you can't ask anymore out of a player than that right there."
   "It was a tough game, but I told the coach in the beginning when he took me off the mound that we would come out with it," Jobe said. "It was a very big conference win and things are looking good for us. The team has been good about battling back like this."
   Cody Cannon went two for three for the Warriors to go along with Toney's two of four day. Daniel Shelton added a pair of hits for Central (20-6, 7-2).