T-N-C thwarts Citizens in AL tourney final   

By Rebecca Pierson
Assistant Sports Editor
rpierson@starhq.com

  T-N-C Lawncare defeated Citizens Bank 12-0 on Friday night for first place in the Carter County American Little League tournament.
  Citizens Bank could not get a hit or any luck in the game as it went three up, three down until the top of the fifth inning when T-N-C pitcher Justin Pierce had his only walk of the night on Jacob Hill. Pierce had nine strikeouts, and what contact Citizens made with the ball, it simply went right to the T-N-C fielders.
  T-N-C on the other hand had no problem jumping into a six-run lead in the bottom of the first off of four hits.
  Citizens starting pitcher Jordan Taylor walked the first batter when an off pitch hit him in the shoulder. Justin Pierce then came to the plate with a hit to left field for a triple and a RBI. Joseph Wilson hit a double for a single and an RBI.
  Knox Eryasa then knocked the ball down to the right-field fence for a double and an RBI. Jacob Hitchcock then came to the plate and Eryasa stole third and home for the fourth run. Hitchcock and Tyler Jaynes bounced singles.
  Austin Nanney and Michael Starnes both struck out, but Hitchcock saw an opportunity and made his way home. Eric Chapman rolls one into right field for the sixth run by Jaynes.
  Citizens Taylor had one walk and two strikeouts in the first. Jake Hubbard came on the mound in the second through fifth frames and he totaled three walks and three strikeouts.
  "I am real proud of them," T-N-C head coach Jerry Pierce said. "All three of my best players should up tonight -- my pitcher, my defense and my bat. My pitcher had one walk from a perfect game. Defense made every play they should have made.
  "We dropped one game to this team earlier, 8-4," he said. "Their bats didn't show up tonight is all I can say. They are a good ball team, and they are a better ball team then they played tonight."
  "We played pretty well the past two or three weeks," Citizens Bank head coach Mickey Taylor said. "But we didn't play well tonight and they did. That happens in baseball. They are just kids and this is just little league, and that is what you have to remember. We are one of the youngest teams down here. We only have one 12-year-old kid, so to do what we have done you have to be pretty satisfied."
  Elizabethton Federal 9
  Cline-Holder 0
  Elizabethton Federal's defense was simply on the mark in the opening game, which was for third place in the tournament.
  Cline-Holder came out with a good start offensively in the top of the first when Zach Boles opened up with a hit to left field for a double. Jordan Banner was then walked by Federal pitcher Bret Price. Kyle Wash then hit grounder to the short stop but Boles was caught out at third. Logan Andrews and Colton Haun would then both strikeout.
  Elizabethton Federal was only up by one run going into the second inning.
  Cline-Holder would then have its only other hit of the game, but couldn't bring the runner around.
  Elizabethton Federal's Aaron Mosley opened up with a strikeout. Andrew Long was then walked by Cline-Holder pitcher Nick Jenkins. Logan Shell then had a hit to left field for a single. Dakota Price was then walked, loading up the bases. Price then knocked a grounder in to second for a single and an RBI.
  Dustin Turbyfill would walk also, but not before Shell would steal home plate for a three-run lead.
  Cline-Holder Zack Boles would then come to the mound for a strikeout on Drew Shingleton, but Price would also manage to steal home before the play ended.
  Coty Buckles would then hit a ground ball to the pitcher, Price would make it to home plate, but then Turbyfill was tagged at home for the third out.
  Price had two walks and seven strikeouts in the game. Jenkins had three walks and three strikeouts when he left the mound, and Boles had two walks and five strikeouts over three innings.
  "I am really proud of our kids," Cline-Holder head coach Eric Haun said. "We played a great team tonight and they sure deserved to win. We played a class-act team and a class-act coach. We just didn't have our heads in it tonight and that happens."
  "I think this is probably the best game we have played all year,"
  Elizabethton Federal's head coach Herman Price said.
  "It was a good time to do it at the last game of the season," Price said. "With the 12-year-olds, I told them to make it count because it would be the last time they play in little league.
  "Everybody I ever knew, when they played little league, they always come down here years later and say 'Man I wish I had more one year of little league.'
  "I don't think any of them will have any regrets about the way they played today. It was a heck of a game and I am proud of everybody."