Rocky Top continues to sparkle

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   As they continue with their winning ways in the Open League, Rocky Top remains to be the team to beat this season after a 20-6 victory over the Smokers on Monday night.
   Rocky Top has turned back every team it has faced so far, and its biggest victory came earlier in the season over the defending champions Dino's.
   "We want to do it again," said Rocky Top manager Albert Harrison. "I don't know how a two-hit shutout is considered playing second fiddle to someone."
   Harrison response was due to the comments last week made by Dino's player Jerry Rouse, who has been reluctant to give the first-place team any kind of credit for its performance.
   "We're 10-0 right now, and hopefully we'll be 16-0 by the end of the season," said Harrison. "I'm just looking forward to shutting him up once again."
   Rocky Top took a 3-2 lead in the first inning, when a hit from Neil Church and error scored Shannon Price.
   The Smokers came back to tie the contest in the second frame, after a double by Travis Hill drove home David Jones and Brian Stevens.
   The last three frames were dominated by Rocky Top, which outscored the Smokers 16-2.
   Home-runs from "Buggy" Todd Graham and Church in the third inning instigated the fire inside the dug-out, which smoldered the Smokers chances of an upset.
   Larry's Muffler 23
   Milligan Grocery 9
   It was a shutout through the last three frames, which enabled Larry's Muffler to defeat Milligan Grocery.
   Larry's jumped out to an early lead after the first two innings, when back-to-back home runs from Shane Fleenor and David Daniel gave them a 10-3 advantage.
   Milligan made a rally in the bottom of the third, but not before "Money" Jimmy Townsend struck out trying to hit an easy slow tossed pitch.
   His teammates managed to pick up the slack, as a hit from Spencer Goodwin drove in Ron Pope.
   A home-run shot by Steve Henegar pulled Milligan to within one run, but Muffler shop made the repair by outscoring Milligan 11-0 in the last three innings.
   Larry's Muffler 22
   Elizabethton Herb & Metal 8
   Hoping to put an end to its long losing streak, Elizabethton Herb & Metal had about as much chance against Larry's Muffler as a Pinto has outrunning a Corvette with its 22-8 loss.
   Larry's took a 5-3 advantage after the first inning, when Phillip Miller smacked a hit to bring home Randy Carr.
   The runs continued to cross in the second frame, after three straight homers were hit by Shane Fleenor, David Daniel and John Holder.
   A rarely-seen home-run shot from the "Metal" scored when Paul Green crushed a hit to center field.
   Larry's assumed control throughout the remainder of the contest by scoring 10 more runs in the final two frames.
   Elizabethton Herb & Metal 0
   Larry's Muffler 21
   After receiving a victory over the Star Buildings in a forfeit, Elizabethton Herb & Metal decided to try its chances with Larry's Muffler. The result wasn't a good one for Herb & Metal.
   The beating that Elizabethton encountered in their first meeting with Larry's was apparently not severe enough, so the team attempted to do things right by showing why they have become the "Bad News Bears" of Open League.
   Larry's opened up with 4-0 lead after the first inning, when a hit by Randy Carr drove in Mike Fleenor and John Holden.
   The "Herb" kicked in during the second frame, as botched plays hindered Elizabethton from keeping the game close.
   An attempted dive at a fly ball by the third baseman, along with playing keepaway on a runner headed home, enabled Holden to round the bases for the score.
   Elizabethton had trouble several times at the plate, as Thomas Proffitt missed the slow, traveling ball across the plate to end the second frame with a strikeout.
   Pat Taylor encountered the same kind of deceiving slow pitch, as he missed swinging frantically at the ball for a strikeout.
   Finally the "Metal" found someone in its lineup who could hit the ball after going 0-7 at bat, when Paul Reece smacked a hit right to the third baseman.
   The ball was then bobbled, which would be considered an error in most leagues, but the scorekeeper, being the honorable gentleman he is, responded by saying, "Even I have a heart about me, so why not give them a hit."