'Dogs, 'Horns break even in doubleheader
By Wes Holtsclaw

   The Hampton Bulldogs started Thursday's doubleheader on a rough note.
   With an 8-2 loss to the Johnson County Longhorns, Hampton needed their first conference victory of the season in the last game to get a good draw in the District play-in game.
   Hampton battled and played as a team in the second game, winning 3-1 and earning another game with the 'Horns today at 6 p.m. at Joe O'Brien Field.
   "Any win's a good win for us," said Hampton coach Scotty Bunton. "That's the first time they've had enough heart to play a whole game. I had my doubts there for a second or two -- of course we were kind of down in the pitching rotation."
   "I've got confidence in all of them, they've pitched enough to do it, even if they're just sophomores and freshmen," he said. "Adam Miller, Justin Waycaster had really good games there. Zack Trivette had a good hit for us."
   Miller led the team with five hits on the day. Justin Waycaster got on base with each at bat for his squad in the second game, but his attempts were plagued by errors.
   Michael Davis had three hits on the day for Johnson County with three RBI's.
   The Bulldogs may have gotten a bigger boost with the win going into today's game.
   "If it's the only team you've beaten in the conference, it's got to give you confidence going into the game," said Bunton. "If we can get a good effort tomorrow and come down swinging the bats a little bit, we've got a shot to advance and that's all we can do here."
   Game Two
   Hampton 3
   Johnson County 1
   The Bulldogs have been waiting for an entire team effort like they got in the second game Thursday. They banked off a solid three-run inning in the fourth, and pitching from Eric and Josh Cole to pull out the win.
   Eric Cole started the game, but walked two in the fourth to set up the 'Horns' lone run. Josh Cole came in relief and shut Johnson County down successfully to give their squad the conference victory, only allowing a combined three hits.
   "The second game, these boys decided what they wanted to do for the district," Bunton said. "They wanted to play the boys closest to us."
   Cody Montgomery had a big single in the fourth for Hampton, with Dustin Crumley moving him around the bases on a walk.
   Zack Trivette drove Montgomery across the plate on a fielder's choice, before an errored shot at the bat of Justin Waycaster secured Crumley's score.
   The next Hampton run was an eventful one, as Trivette broke loose on a wild pitch. He was declared safe at the plate by a solid call from longtime TSSAA umpire Sonny Pierce, but it didn't please the Johnson County staff.
   One of the Longhorn assistants went nuts before Pierce put him in his place.
   Later Johnson County had a call of that nature go their own way when Matt Peters walked and took off on a wild pitch. He was safe on another good call.
   The 'Horns got others on base when Chris McElyea walked and Gary Evans singled, but Hampton shut the team down with solid defense.
   Game One
   Johnson County 8
   Hampton 2
   The 'Horns held their own with Hampton before putting them away with a seven-run fourth inning.
   They had a little help from Michael Davis, who tossed nine strikeouts from the mound and cranked out the team's biggest hit, a three-run single in the fourth to help his cause for a victory.
   Hampton led the game initially when Miller knocked in Waycaster, and later scored in the fifth after Miller doubled Ben Harrison across the plate.
   Jesse Jenkins scored the first run for Johnson County in the second inning on a Bauguess sacrificed fly.
   The team got going in the fourth when Zack Reece singled and scored on an errored Matt Peters shot. Bauguess walked to set up a single and error courtesy of Chris McElyea.
   Davis came up big again with a three run single, setting up an errored bat from Jeff Brinker. Both scored when Nathan Paisley went yard with a three-run shot over the left-field fence.
   Miller took the loss for Hampton despite a solid performance. He contributed three hits in the game.
   "Adam did a good job in the first game, but we didn't play behind him," said Bunton. "That's the story of his life. We don't seem to play well when he pitches for some reason. I don't know what it is."
   "Mountain City battled back and I knew they would hit the ball," he said. "I give them credit for winning that one. Their boy did a good job on the mound to keep us down."