Warriors sting Cyclones, 12-2

Caldwell, Harrison, whaley serve as Happy Valley catalysts

By Tim Chambers

   Happy Valley was hoping to find a remedy to end a four-game losing streak Tuesday night at Anglin Field. The Elizabethton Cyclones proved to be the perfect medicine.
   Behind the brilliant pitching of Todd Caldwell and long-ball 'taters from Jordy Harrison and Tim Whaley, the Warriors rolled to a 12-2 Watauga Conference win over the Cyclones in a five-inning affair on the campus of Milligan College.
   Caldwell allowed a Texas league single in the first inning and a bunt single in fifth.
   "This was a big win for us, with Elizabethton being such a big rival," stated Caldwell. "We swung the bat well and it was good to put an end to that losing streak."
   Happy Valley jumped on top in the first inning after Ricky Morgan slapped a single to left and Tim Whaley ripped a two-out home run down the left-field line for a 2-0 lead.
   Happy Valley exploded for 10 runs in the second, which saw every Warrior starter cross the plate in the inning. Walks to Jordy Harrison and Drew Davis started the inning, followed by a single off the bat of Allen Dykes to load the bases.
   A base rip by Shannon Buchanan off the pitcher's leg accounted for one run, followed by a base hit from Ryan Garland that brought home another.
   Morgan lofted another single to score Dykes, then walks to Caldwell and Ryan Toney sandwiched in between a crucial error loaded the bases.
   Elizabethton skipper Steve "Pink" McKinney elected to bring in freshman Josh Guinn to face No. 44 Jordy "Hammerin' Hank" Harrison, and the 6-5 junior gave his best impression of Henry Aaron by sending a fast ball over the left center-field wall for a grand slam, giving Happy Valley a 12-0 lead.
   "It feels great to beat Elizabethton," said Harrison. "It's a big rival because so many of us have played against one another. I hope this is what we needed to start playing well again."
   Guinn settled down after the home run and pitched a masterpiece the rest of the way, allowing only one hit for the remainder of the game. Guinn never walked a batter.
   The Cyclones rallied for two in the fourth when Nate Treadway and Travis Bowers reached on errors to start the inning and Ricky Garrison received a walk to load the bases. Another error allowed Charles Peters to reach scoring one run, and a fielder's choice accounted for another.
   Caldwell was able to pitch out of the jam by getting a strikeout and a fly ball to end the inning. Elizabethton loaded the bases again in the fifth inning but Caldwell got a force out at home and another strikeout to end the contest.
   Morgan and Dykes recorded two hits each to lead the Warriors while Garland, Caldwell, Whaley and Buchanan had one each. Harrison was one for one with the grand slam, reached base three times and rang up four RBI's
   Treadway and Nathan Bishop had the only hits for Elizabethton.
   "I was pleased that our kids came out and played tonight," said Warrior head coach Greg Hyder. "I thought that Todd (Caldwell) pitched a great game and give us his all."
   "I told our players if we can eliminate some errors in the field, we have a chance of becoming a good baseball team. This was a good win for us over a quality baseball team."