Brummit, Warriors stand nine-inning test

By Ivan Sanders

   The energizer bunny and pitcher Britton Brummit of the Happy Valley Warriors have something in common. Both keep on going and going and going.
   Brummit pitched a major league outing as the young hurler went the nine innings in helping his club defeat a never-say-die Volunteer Falcon team 2-1 in an extra-inning affair at Hunter-Wright Stadium in the District 1-AA tourney.
   "Every time Britton is on the mound, our kids know they have a chance to win," stated Warrior mentor Greg Hyder. "He threw 120 pitches in nine innings today, which is phenomenal, and he'll be ready to go again by mid-week."
   The game was a defensive battle for almost the entire nine innings of action. The Warriors managed to get on the board in the third inning as center fielder Lamar Rollins smashed a triple.
   Cody Whitlock made it possible for Rollins to score as the Warrior right fielder drove one deep enough to center for a sacrifice fly and a 1-0 Happy Valley lead.
   The scored remained the same until the Falcon seventh with a do-or-die situation staring the Church Hill team in the face. Daniel Byington, who had only three strikeouts all season, reached on a single.
   Byington went on to swipe second. Center fielder Tim Ofiero, who was scratched from the starting pitcher role due to a stone bruise, tore into a Brummit offering for a double to tie the score at 1-1 and send the game into extra frames.
   Neither team managed anything in the eight inning of play. The Falcons did have the tie-breaking runner at third with one out in the ninth after Ofiero reached again with a single.
   Ofiero swiped second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Cannon. Volunteer went quickly after that as Scott McConnell fouled out to Cannon and Brummit rung Ricky Eidson up on strikes.
   After a Rollins fly out in the ninth, Whitlock reached on a beautiful bunt that neither the pitcher, second baseman, or first baseman could reach for an out.
   Whitlock stole second to move that much closer for the win. Tim Whaley stepped to the plate after a dismal performance for the day that included two strikeouts.
   With a 1-1 count, Whaley took an Anderson offering down the chalked line at third for a double and the game winner. Afterwards, Volunteer's head coach Mo Cloud had a little question as to whether he should have walked Whaley.
   "I thought about putting him on, but he had already had struck out twice and I thought we would be OK pitching to him," said Cloud. "I am proud though of how Anderson pitched and the way our team played today."
   Hyder thought otherwise about the Volunteer mentor's thinking.
   "He puts us on all day long and I definitely don't see putting Whaley on to get to Cannon," said Hyder of his big-time slugger. "Whaley has been hot of late and he really came through today to give us another day."
   With the win, Happy Valley advances to face Unicoi County, a team that the Warriors have been big rivals with.
   "If we go out and execute the way we are capable of, then we have a chance against Unicoi County," stated Hyder. "If we don't, then they will thrash us the way they do everybody else."
   The Happy Valley and Unicoi game will take place on Monday at 5 p.m. as District 1-AA action continues at Hunter Wright Stadium.