Rangers rough up Cosby for 18-4 conquest

By Marvin Birchfield

STAR CORRESPONDENT
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   Unaka weathered through the rainy skies in its match-up with Cosby, as the Rangers stormed to cancel flight of the Eagles in an 18-4 final downpour at Claude Holsclaw Field.
   "They've got a young team, and they played us close down there earlier in the season, but we came out and hit the ball well and kindly deflated them," said Unaka coach Mike Ensor.
   The Rangers dominated the contest from the start by bringing in a shower of eight runs in the first inning.
   A triple from Rusty Chambers was the beginning of the Rangers' scoring onslaught as he drove-in Thomas Guess, Tee Blevins and Ryan Bowers.
   A hit from Brent Huskins brought home Chambers, and a double by Randy Swearingen scored Huskins.
   The Eagle defense fell apart from that point by committing three errors -- Cosby had four for the inning -- which allowed Swearingen, Chris Arnold, and Daniel McInturff to cross the plate.
   Unaka continued to pad its lead in the second frame, when Swearingen connected on his second double of the contest to drive in Bowers.
   A sacrifice fly by Arnold brought Huskins in to score, and following was a double from McInturff to plate Swearingen.
   The Rangers were all over Cosby 11-0 after the second frame, and continue to flood the field with more runs in the bottom of the third by adding six more.
   "We kind of took care of business," Ensor said. "We wanted to come out and hit the baseball today, and it's hard to stay focus and up when you jump on someone like that."
   Cosby struggled from the mound and the field by walking five batters and committing a couple of errors.
   The Eagles finally caught a break in the top of the fourth, when a hit from Junior Valentine and error in the outfield produced three runs, with Zach Seay, Dwight Hewitt, and Chris Douglas crossing the plate.
   "Our team doesn't play that hard when we get a big lead sometimes, and hopefully that won't hurt us in the tournament, but we didn't have to worry about it today," said Swearingen.
   There were not many opportunities for Cosby at the plate, as Swearingen allowed just three hits in the four innings at the mound.
   "I feel like I could have pitched a little better, but the ball was wet and hard to grip," said Swearingen.
   Unaka's last run of the evening came off a Chris Arnold hit and Cosby error, which brought in Tyler McCann.
   Cosby was able to add another run in its final attempt at bat on a walk after the bases were loaded.
   "It was a two-run ball game when we played them prior, and actually had to come from behind to win, but we did what we were supposed to do and did a pretty good job," said Ensor.
   The District 1-A Tournament will be begin on Monday, May 5 at Unicoi County High School.
   The opening game will start at 4:30 p.m. with Cloudland taking on University High, then Unaka takes on North Greene at 7:30 p.m.