Baughman sews up berth in semifinals

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   The Baughman Manufacturing Diamondbacks earned a place in the semifinal round in the Elizabethton pee-wee tournament, as they defeated the All-State Insurance Rangers in a close 7-6 final on Thursday evening.
   A big flurry with the bats in the top of the first gave the Diamondbacks a five-run advantage, but the lead evaporated, forcing them to come through in the final frame.
   "We were kind of at the bottom of our lineup and had some trouble striking out, but there at the end we were able to come through," said Diamondbacks manager Rick Baughman.
   The Diamondbacks captured their first score when Zack Hyder connected on a hit to drive in Jesse Honeycutt.
   Four more runs scored off of a total of seven hits during the first, as Hyder, Logan Russell, Alex Baughman and Aaron Miller all made their way across the plate.
   "They got the big lead and we seemed to be tired. It was all downhill from there, but we still played good defense, I thought," said Rangers manager Danny Akers. "They still gave it everything they had."
   The Rangers drove home one run in the bottom of the frame, when Justin Norris smacked a double to bring home Nick Honeycutt.
   Another run was added in the bottom of the second for the Rangers, after Justin Helms had a ground base-hit to center field, bringing in Zack Johnson.
   A run was scored for the Diamondbacks in the top of the third, when Baughman crushed a triple to left field that drove home Chris Scalf.
   The Diamondbacks went through a little slump at the plate midway through the contest, as the Rangers came back to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth.
   A hit to right field by Tyler Higgins pulled the Rangers to within one run, with Norris and Josh Salts coming home.
   The game became tied when a single to the outfield from Adam Bowers scored Higgins.
   After Helms led off for the Rangers in the bottom of the fifth, a nice catch on a fly ball by Scalf turned into a double-play, with the throw to Honeycutt at second base.
   "We're a young team, but we have a real good defense, so we should be good come next year," said Rick Baughman.
   The Diamondbacks made things happen in the final frame, when Aaron Bunion smacked a double to right field, which brought home Scalf for the winning run.
   "We should have a good outlook for the rest of the tournament, but you never can tell since we are so young," said Rick Baughman.
   Rangers 16
   Rockies 9
   The All-State Insurance Rangers ended the Hathaway-Percy Rockies' season with a strong finish in the last two innings.
   "These guys started getting some confidence toward the end, and we've had a good tournament hitting the ball well," said Rangers manager Danny Akers.
   Two runs were scored by the Rangers to start the game, as a double from Austin Smith drove in Aaron Akers.
   The Rockies came back to tie the contest in the first, when McKenly Berry nailed a triple to left field, bringing home Garrett Woods.
   "We had a good year even though we've taken some knocks, but we're a young team and we're able to come back smiling in the end," said Rockies manager Dwight Treadway.
   Andrew McCauly gave the Rockies a one-run lead in the second frame, after hitting an infield single that scored Daylann Blevins.
   The Rangers reassumed the lead in the top of the fourth, as a double from Josh Salts drove home Nick Honeycutt.
   Two more runs were added to give the Rangers the lead, when a double by Tyler Higgins brought in Zack Johnson and Justin Helms.
   The Rangers continued to stretch the advantage in the fifth frame, as a double by Michael Wagner scored Helms and Tyler Street.
   After scoring three run in the bottom of the fifth, the Rockies trailed 8-6 going into the final frame when a fielder's choice by Berry brought home McCauly.
   Nine hits were captured by the Rangers in the top of the sixth, which resulted in eight runs, with Tyler Hubbard driving in the last two.
   "That's been our story all season. We have one bad inning and the other team get a lead we can't come back from," said Treadway.
   The Rockies attempted a comeback in their final time at bat, as a double from Brandon Taylor drove home Cody Malone and Zach Treadway.
   A fly-out to Austin Smith and tag at second base ended the contest with the Rangers, prolonging the season for one more game.
   "Everybody just started hitting the ball well. We've struggled all season, and we played good defense also," said Akers.
   Girls Softball
   Angels 9
   Braves 8
   The Angels were able to squeak out a 9-8 victory over the Citizen's Bank Braves in the first round of the pee-wee softball tournament.
   After leading 4-2 through the first three frames, the Angels fell behind in the fourth inning when the Braves scored four runs to take a 6-5 lead.
   The Angels bounced back in the final frame to grab a one-run win after bringing in four runs that cross the plate.
   Bethany Collins was 3-for-3 at bat with an inside-the-park home run for the Angels ,while teammate Kelsey Maines also went 3-for-3.
   Lindsay Smith was 3-for-3 for the Braves, while Logan Campbell went 2-for-3.