Cyclones vanquish Rangers

By Tim Chambers

   When they tore down the old Riverfront Stadium it took only a matter of minutes for the entire structure to crash. Much can be said about the collapse of the Unaka Rangers Saturday night at Joe O'Brien Field.
   Elizabethton broke open a tie game with one run in the fifth and five more in the sixth to knock off Unaka, 10-4.
   The Cyclones pounded out a total of 15 hits while taking advantage of several Unaka miscues in the field.
   "We been working hard on our hitting lately stated Elizabethton," assistant coach Johnny Burleson, who was filling in for Cyclone skipper Steve McKinney. "We were very aggressive at the plate earlier today against Avery and again tonight with Unaka."
   Elizabethton jumped on top in the first on a single by Nathan Bishop and a RBI double from Travis Bowers.
   Unaka took a 3-1 lead in the second when Travis Pasquale lined a home run over the left-field wall to score Ryan Bowers, who had previously doubled. After a walk to Brent Huskins, Tyler McCann would record an RBI with a single to right.
   Unaka stretched the lead at 4-1 in the third after Chad Lewis led off with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Rusty Chambers. A wild pitch allowed Lewis to score but Stipe was able to leave Chambers stranded at third by getting the next three batters by way of two strikeouts and a groundout to end the inning.
   Elizabethton tied the game in the fourth when Travis Bowers led off with a triple and scored on a single by Garrison. One batter later, Charles Peters stepped to the plate and sent a Swearingen fast ball deep over the left center-field fence to tie the score at four.
   'Betsy reclaimed the lead in the fifth when Garrison singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Another one bagger from shortstop Ryan Kennedy scored Garrison from second.
   Meanwhile, Jonathan Crowley came on in relief of Stipe and pitched a masterpiece in relief. Crowley was able to go the distance, giving up only two hits over four innings while earning the win.
   The Cyclones broke the game open in the sixth when Bishop led off with a double while Bowers walked. A single by Adam Grindstaff scored both runs followed by Garrison fourth hit of the evening. Peters added two more RBIs to his total, giving Elizabethton a big win over their county rival.
   "We had lost some close games last week to Johnson County and Happy Valley, so we wanted to come out and play well today," said Peters. "The county games are always exciting, so this was a big win for us."
   Garrison was the big gun for Elizabethton, going 4 for 4 with three RBIs while scoring three runs.
   "I knew we were facing a good pitcher (Swearingen) and a good team, so I got really pumped up," Garrison said. "We were ready to play tonight. "
   Bishop had a good night with three hits, while Bowers, Peters, Kennedy and Adkins had two each. Peters collected four RBIs, and Grindstaff added a solo hit and two RBIs.
   Colllins and McCann banged out two hits for Unaka while Chambers, Bowers and Pasquale had one each. Pasquale tallied two RBIs, with McCann accounting for another.
   Elizabethton defeated Avery County earlier in the day 11-1 in a five inning contest. Due to the Easter Sunday deadline, we were unable to obtain any information about this game.