Devils drop 'Dogs, 9-3

By Ivan Sanders

   In the opening game of the 2002 District 1-AA baseball at Kingsport's Hunter-Wright Stadium, eighth-seeded Hampton was hoping to catch the Blue Devils looking past the scrappy Bulldogs.
   Unicoi County wasn't at its best, but was good enough to hold off the pesky 'Dogs by a score of 9-3 to eliminate Hampton from the tournament and bring their season to an end.
   Josh Williams of the Blue Devils threw four innings of no-hit baseball before freshman Ben Harrison of Hampton broke the no-no up in the top of the fifth inning with a solid single to left centerfield.
   "I was pleased with the performance of Williams today," stated Blue Devil head coach Chris Bogart. "He ran into some control problems late, but otherwise had a good day on the hill."
   Darrell Roop led the hit brigade for the Blue Devils with a 3-for-4 performance with a double and two singles. Mike Manuel and Nick Garland chipped in with to hits each for Unicoi County.
   Ryan Deskins was the losing pitcher for the 'Dogs even though the senior hurler actually pitched a better game than the score indicated. Deskins' defense let him down on several occasions to account for the discrepancy in the score.
   "Deskins did a good job for us today," said Bulldog head coach Scotty Bunton. "Their hits were scattered so far apart, it should have only been a 3-2 lead for Unicoi County coming down the stretch."
   Williams reached a point in the game where he couldn't find the plate and issued nine its three runs.
   Drew Anders came in and closed the game out for the Blue Devils as he worked out of Williams' jam in the sixth and worked a perfect seventh frame.
   Hampton finishes up with a 7-17 overall slate while Unicoi County continues onto the double-elimination round with a 26-11 ledger against the winner of Happy Valley and Volunteer.