Warriors succumb to Golden Raiders

By Ivan Sanders

STAR CORRESPONDENT
isanders@starhq.com

   KINGSPORT -- The contest was one between two surging teams in the Watauga Conference.
   Sullivan North was looking to grab a share of the regular-season title with Sullivan Central, while Happy Valley has been steadily moving up the ladder after starting the season 0-4 and looking to solidify a good seed in the district tournament.
   With both teams coming out stroking the ball, it was North finding the holes for hits and Happy Valley just looking to catch a few breaks in a 7-1 North win at Kingsport's Hunter-Wright Stadium in the first game of the Kingsport Baseball Classic on Tuesday evening.
   "They looked like the Yankees out there diving at our hard shots, knocking them down, and then making the play," said HV head coach Greg Hyder. "Cannon smoked the ball three times that had to be at least 1,400 feet of hits, and they caught every one of them."
   Besides the defensive effort, Raider Trey Mosley systematically worked through the Warrior lineup, facing the minimum number of batters in four of the first six innings before HV could put together a series of hits in the seventh inning.
   Meanwhile, Mosley's teammates were taking care of business at the plate as designated hitter Chris Eaton led the Raider charge with a 3-for-3 performance, driving in three RBIs.
   Jimmy Arnold added a 2-for-3 outing with an RBI, and five other Raiders picked up one base knock each in a 10-hit North attack.
   "Besides a little letdown at spring break, we've been playing well and hopefully we are peaking at the right time," stated Raider skipper Steve Dixon. "Trey was Trey, what can I say because that's why his ERA is around .027, he throws strikes and lets his guys play behind him."
   Mosley only had to throw 77 pitches total against HV, with 54 of those going for strikes while throwing for the fourth time in six days.
   Todd Caldwell, the Warrior starting pitcher, lasted only two and two-thirds of an inning as North riddled the young Warrior for six runs on eight hits. Caldwell's five walks came at critical times, which did little to ease the Raiders' onslaught.
   Ricky Morgan paced HV with a 2-for-3 effort from the dish. Caldwell picked up a hit as well for the Warriors and scored the only run after being driven in on a RBI single from Tim Whaley after a single from Ryan Toney.
   With the district tournament getting set to begin Saturday, Hyder knows exactly what will be on the agenda for the next couple of days.
   Said Hyder: "We're going to go back to work and practice in an effort to finish out strong. We know we are at a do-or-die situation at this point, so we will put this behind us and hopefully finish strong."
   From this point it will be a waiting game as the Warriors must wait the outcome of a couple of games before knowing where they will be seeded in the tournament.