T-n-C Lawn Care mows over Citizens for tourney crown

By Ivan Sanders

   Citizens Bank was hoping to deposit a loss in the column of T-n-C Lawn Care and force a second game for the championship in the Carter County Little League tournament at Jim Ensor Field on Friday evening.
   The only problem was that T-n-C had their engines revved and their blades sharpened as they mowed down the regular season champions by the score of 11-3 to take the tournament crown.
   "This team has played with a lot of heart all season long," stated T-n-C manager Jerry Pierce. "We've played solid defense and hit the ball all week long and we beat a very good team tonight in Citizens Bank."
   The first two innings was a defensive struggle for the most part as both pitchers were making short work of the opposition although each team managed to score a run apiece in the second frame. Josh Peterson of T-n-C and Frank Birchfield of CB were each up to the task in the first inning with Peterson collecting two strikeouts off CB while Birchfield rang up the side in the bottom of the frame.
   Chris Morton got the Bank rolling in the second as he drew a walk with two outs. Jarread Whitehead followed suit with another base on balls before Hunter Peters stroked a single to plate Morton.
   T-n-C battled back to even the score in the bottom of the inning with Knox Eryasa working Birchfield for a free pass with one out. With two outs, Jeremy Wright hit a ground ball that looked like an easy out, but Bank's second baseman booted the ball allowing Eryasa to pull his team even.
   After Peterson held CB to only a single by Birchfield in the top of the third, T-n-C all but took the air out of the Bank. Sending 15 batters to the plate against three different pitchers, the T-n-C gang raked the Bank for 10 runs in the frame to push out to an 11-1 edge after three complete.
   Peterson helped his own cause out in the inning, collecting five RBI's with a three-run, inside the park homerun and a two-run single. Justin Pierce and Josh Lipford added base knocks in the frame with Lipford driving in two on his single.
   Citizens Bank did manage to add solo runs in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, but the lead plus weariness took its toil with the Bank playing in its second game of the evening. Peterson closed out the game as the 10-year old fanned 11 Bank batters to pick up the huge win.
   The key to the game for T-n-C was in keeping the big timber of the Bank quiet as Adam Colbaugh was held hitless, but still managed to get on base twice with a walk and being hit by a Peterson offering. Each team collect four hits for the contest, but the walks were another sore spot for the Bank as its pitchers issued 10 walks on the evening.
   "That inning where we were able to get the 10 runs helped the guys relax," said Pierce. "We also got lucky with keeping their big hitters quite because they are a very good hitting team."
   Losers Bracket Final
   Citizen's Bank 13
   David's Auto 2
   Citizens Bank was looking for an opportunity to meet back up with T-n-C Lawn Care, a team that sent them to the loser's bracket final. Bank got their wish with its big guns, Adam Colbaugh and Frankie Birchfield, delivering a two-run homer apiece to guarantee the match up.
   Another bright spot for CB was the outstanding pitching of Hunter Peters. Peters tossed a one-hit, 13-strikeout performance to eliminate David's Auto from the tournament.
   For Auto, Jordan Taylor collected the only hit on a monster drive that hit the top of the fence and stayed in the park, while settling for a double. Taylor worked his way home for one of the two runs scored by Mickey Taylor's team.
   Colbaugh had a 3 for 3 performance, including the dinger, with Peters adding a 2 for 3 outing with three runs scored. Birchfield finished out the contest at a 2 for 4 clip.
   Cline-Holder 4
   Inland Paperboard 3
   Cline-Holder rallied for three runs in the final two innings, enough to turn back Inland in a tight-fisted affair.
   Inland scored all of its runs in the fourth inning to grab a 3-1 lead, then Cline-Holder scored one in the fifth before pulling out the win with a two-run sixth.
   Kendall Wash pitched the sixth inning to pick up the win in relief. He took over for Zack Boles, who worked the first five innings.
   Dustie VanHuss topped the Cline-Holder offense with a 2-for-3 effort. Boles chipped in with a 1-for-2 day.
   Leading the way for Inland was Jeremy Arwood at 1-for-1. Britt Yelton went 1-for-2 and Taylor Edwards 1-for-3.
   T-n-C Lawn Care 3
   Citizen's Bank 1
   In a semifinal confrontation, T-n-C used great pitching and top-notch defense to withstand the boys of Citizen's Bank.
   Jonathan Chapman got the job done on the mound for T-n-C to take the win, and Franky Covarrubias, going 2-for-3, collected the only two Lawn Care hits.
   Hunter Peters, 2-for-3; Stephen Brickey, 2-for-3; and Adam Colbaugh, 1-for-1; showed the way for Citizen's Bank.
   Chris Morton added a 1-for-3 effort while Colbaugh was a hard-luck loser on the hill.
   David's Auto 12
   Cline-Holder 8
   Cutting loose for six runs in the fourth inning, David's Auto overcame a three-run deficit and got past Cline-Holder in the third and final game of the day.
   Jordan Taylor batted 2-for-3 to lead the way for Auto, which received 1-for-3 showings from Logan Carden and Justin Nave. Alex Chambers added a base hit and pitched his way to victory.
   Tops for Cline-Holder were Logan Andrews and Corey Sams at 2-for-3 apiece. Michael Bowers and Jonathan Nicholas both went 1-for-2, with Dustie VanHuss batting 1-for-3.