Warriors stumped by Devils

By Tim Chambers

   Happy Valley claimed the Watauga Conference title during the 2004 baseball season, but the Unicoi County Blue Devils are not planning on crowing them district champs without a fight.
   In a game that was over two and one half hours late, Unicoi knocked off top dog Happy Valley 10-5 in the District 1-AA baseball tournament Monday night at Joe O'Brien Field.
   The Blue Devils got a solid performance from John Broyles on the mound, although Coach Chris Bogart must have went through two pack of Rolaids during this contest. Broyles had trouble finding the plate, but Happy Valley failed to take advantage of it.
   Five bean balls were tossed by Broyles, along with four wild pitches. But time and time again Unicoi was able to get the big out when needed to earn its way into the finals of the winners' bracket, assuring themselves a berth in next weeks Regional tournament.
   Unicoi amazed a total of 11 hits on the evening, with Drew Anders collecting two hits, one being a double. Chase Whitson, who fired a one-hitter in the Blue Devil win over Elizabethton, added two hits with two RBIs, along with Cody Scott, whose resume included two hits, a double and one RBI.
   Ben Peterson had a huge double for Unicoi.
   Todd Caldwell had a double to pace the Warrior attack, but Happy Valley was unable to come up with big hits as Unicoi County stayed on the basepaths the entire evening.
   Happy Valley drops into the losers bracket to take on Sullivan North a 11-1 winner over Sullivan Central in the first contest. Geoff Hinkle had a big day at the plate for North, going 4 for 4, accounting for four RBIs and a stolen base.
   Hinkle will get the nod on the mound against Happy Valley. North's motivation is that no single player from the team made all-conference, something that has been eating at the players.
   Hinkle defeated the Warriors earlier this season.
   "We going to try and win every game," stated Hinkle. "This was a slap in the face for our team."
   Hopefully the Warriors will come out looking finer than frog-hair hoping to earn their way to next week's regional tournament. Gametime is 7 p.m.
   Note: A linescore will be found in Wednesday's edition due to the STAR Sports deadline.